INS Implements ‘V’ Nonimmigrant Provision Status

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

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.

Extension of section 245 (i)

Washington – The House passed extension of Section 245(i) which includes a new provision that would require beneficiaries to demonstrate that the required “familial or employment relationship” existed on or before April 30, 2001 (in the House bill) or date of enactment (in the Senate bill). Importantly, this new requirement is retroactive to January 14, 1998.

The Senate bill now states that those who file after April 30, 2001 must demonstrate that the “familial relationship existed before August 15, 2001, or the application for labor certification that is the basis of such petition for classification was filed before August 15, 2001.” (August 15 was the compromise date agreed upon.)

Unfortunately, the compromise bill made no changes on the family-based requirement definition, the relationship mandated in the underlying requirement needs to have existed by August 15, 2001, and the 245(i) extension for labor certification application-based cases is effectively already past. Past experience argues for a clean extension of a longer period of time without new provisions

The announcement has also created a bipartisan legislation in both Houses for similar extensions. The new proposal of a limited 4-month extension with restrictions is subjected to heat up serious discussions and the groups complained that other immigrants should also be included under this proposal.

INS steps ahead: “K” Nonimmigrant Visa Provision implemented

Washington–The Immigration and Naturalization Service is implementing a new K non-immigrant visa provision, for the family members of U.S. Citizens who experience separations while waiting abroad for an immigrant visa.

The rule expands the K visa status, currently available to fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens, to include the spouse of a U.S. citizen, who is waiting abroad for an immigrant visa, and the spouse’s children. This will allow them to enter the United States as non-immigrants, e-unite with their family here, and then apply for immigrant status while in the country. It is one of several immigration benefit provisions created by the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act) enacted last December.

Under the new nonimmigrant visa classification, spouses of U.S. citizens may be granted K-3 nonimmigrant status, and the spouse’s unmarried children (under 21 years of age) may be granted K-4 nonimmigrant status. Obtaining a K-3/4 visa is not required, however. Spouses of U.S. citizens and their children may skip applying for a K visa and directly obtain their immigrant visa abroad from the Department of State.

For those who wish to take advantage of this new provision, to be eligible for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa,an applicant MUST:

1. Be the spouse of a U.S. citizen;
2. Have a Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) filed on his/her behalf by his/her U.S. citizen spouse, that is pending;
3. Have a Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé (e)) completed and submitted on his/her behalf by his/her U.S. citizen spouse to: U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service P.O. Box 7218 Chicago, IL 60680-7218; and
4. Submit a completed Form I-693 (Medical Examination) when he/she appears at the consulate to apply for the K-3 visa from the Department of State.

To be eligible for a K-4 nonimmigrant visa, an applicant does not need a separate Form I-130 or a Form I- 129F filed on his/her behalf. The K-4 applicant MUST:

1. Be an unmarried child (under 21 years of age) of a K-3 visa applicant or holder;

2. Submit a completed Form I-693 (Medical Examination) when he/she appears at the consulate to apply for the K-4 visa.

Applying for Immigration status: The K-3/4 nonimmigrant classification does not provide immigrant status. To obtain immigrant status –once in the United States — a K-3 nonimmigrant must file a Form I-485 (Application for Adjustment to Permanent Residence). A K-4 nonimmigrant must have a Form I-130 filed on his/her behalf by his/her U.S.citizen parent/stepparent and must file a Form I-485. K-3/4 nonimmigrants will become lawful permanent residents and receive their Green Card when both the Form I-130 petition and their Form I-485 application have been approved.

K-3/4 non-immigrants may elect to apply for an immigrant visa instead of adjustment of status and may wait in the United States until they must appear at the consulate for their visa interview

Employment Authorization : K-3/4 nonimmigrant may also apply for authorization to work in the United States while they wait for their immigrant status.To do so, they must submit a completed Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization) along with the $100 application fee to the INS post office box (P.O. Box) address specified above for filing the Form I-129F.

Additional Information : More information and application forms regarding the K visa is available on the INS Web site (forms can be downloaded from the site), or by calling the INS toll-free customer telephone service: 1-800-375-5283.