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V Visas for Spouses and Children of a Permanent U.S. Resident

by Gregory Siskind, Esq.

Who may qualify for a V Visa?

A person may seek a V-1 or V-2 nonimmigrant status visa if the person:

is married to a Permanent U.S. Resident (V-1), or is the unmarried child (under 21) of a Permanent U.S. Resident (V-2), is the principal beneficiary of a relative petition, filed before December 21, 2000, the person has been waiting at least 3 years after filing for status as a Permanent U.S. Resident, but the petition is still pending.

How do I apply for a V Visa?

If in the U.S. , you must file Form I-539, Application to Change Nonimmigrant Status, and either pay the application fee, or request a waiver of the application fee. To file Form I-539, you must submit a service fee for fingerprinting in addition to the application. Applicants must also undergo a medical examination and submit Form I-693, Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status.

Will this Visa afford me a work permit?

Persons in V-1, V-2, or V-3 status are eligible to apply for a work permit. You should use USCIS Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) to apply for a work permit.

Can I travel outside the U.S.?

If you obtain a V nonimmigrant visa from a consular office abroad, you may be inspected and admitted to the United States in V nonimmigrant status after traveling abroad as long as you continue to possess a valid, unexpired V visa and remain eligible for V nonimmigrant status.

When you are granted V nonimmigrant status in the United States by the USCIS, you will need to obtain a V visa from a consular office abroad in order to be inspected and admitted to the United States as a V nonimmigrant after traveling abroad. (You will not need to apply for a V visa abroad in order to be admitted if you have traveled to contiguous territories or adjacent islands, have another (different category) valid visa, and are eligible for automatic revalidation.

A V nonimmigrant with a pending Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, does not need to obtain advance parole prior to traveling abroad. This means that an alien in V nonimmigrant status may be readmitted as a nonimmigrant despite the fact that he or she is an intending immigrant with a filed application for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa.

Iíve applied for a V Visa, now what?

If you have any further questions regarding your application status, you should contact your local USCIS office, If your application has not been approved, there is no appeal from a decision on Form I-539 denying V status.

About The Author

Gregory Siskind, Esq. is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.