Washington – The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) implemented the new V non-immigrant status to allow certain spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents to reside and work in the United States while waiting to obtain immigrant status. This provision is one of several immigration benefits provided by the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act), enacted on December 21, 2000.
The spouse or unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of a lawful permanent resident is eligible for the V nonimmigrant classification, if he/she:
Had a Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) filed with the INS on his or her behalf by the lawful permanent resident spouse or parent on or before December 21, 2000; and has been waiting for at least three years after the Form I-130 was filed for their immigrant status — either because a visa number (priority date) has not yet become available, or because INS has not yet adjudicated the Form I-130 or the Form I-485 (Application for Adjustment to Permanent Residence).
The unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of a person who meets the above requirements is also eligible for V status.
Applying for V Nonimmigrant Status
Inside the United States Eligible persons living in the United States must apply for V nonimmigrant status with the INS by submitting to the INS:
A completed Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) along with required documentation, the $120 application fee and an additional $25 fingerprint fee (unless exempt from fingerprinting);
The information required by Supplement A to Form I-539;
Applying Outside the United States
Eligible persons living abroad must apply for a V visa with the Department of State at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the immigrant visa would have been processed. After entering the United States with their V nonimmigrant visa, they may apply for work authorization with INS.
For More Information Contact please submit written comments to:
The Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, Immigration and Naturalization Service,
425 I Street NW, Room 4034,
Washington, DC 20536
Fax (202) 305-0143
Email to INSREGS@USDOJ.GOV.
To ensure proper handling, please reference the INS No. 2117-01 on your correspondence. Comments are available for public inspection at this location by calling (202) 514-3048 to arrange for an appointment.