Integrity Legal

17th July 2009

Yesterday I received an inquiry regarding the possibility of obtaining a United States V Visa. It had been a while since I had read anything about that category so I decided to do some quick research and share a few things regarding the US V Visa.

The Immigration Category known as the V visa was created under the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act of 2000. In the provisions of this legislation, spouses and minor children (not married and under the age of twenty-one) of United States Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) could receive a temporary visa in order to join their family member in the United States, while the immigrant visa process is pending.

As a rule, spouses and children of American permanent residents must wait for a comparatively longer period of time to get a visa than the spouse of a United States Citizen or a child (or step-child) of a United States Citizen. That being said, lawful permanent residents cannot avail themselves of the comparative benefits of a fiance visa, also known as a K-1 visa, because that visa category is only available to those betrothed to an American Citizen.

Currently, the V visa is only available to spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents who filed their visa application on or before December 21, 2000, as a result of this provision, fewer and fewer V visas are being issued as the pending applications are adjudicated.

The V visa is somewhat similar to the K-3 visa because they were statutorily designed with the intention of allowing spouses and children to travel to the United States of America while their immigrant visa was processing through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). A major difference between these two visa categories is the fact that the K-3 is still currently obtainable for the spouse of any United States Citizen and has not been effectively “phased out,” by statute. Thai being said, those that enter the United States on a K-3 visa after the approval of a K-3 application still must go through the adjustment of status process or return to Thailand in order to go through consular processing and visa interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand because, like the V visa, the K-3 is a two year non-immigrant multiple entry visa and therefore is only issued for a validity of limited duration.

(This post is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Please contact an Immigration lawyer for individualized legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is formed by reading this piece.)


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