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V Nonimmigrant

Green Card for a V Nonimmigrant

The Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act provisions of 2000 created the V nonimmigrant category that allow the spouse or child of a permanent resident to live and work in the United States while waiting to obtain immigrant status. To qualify for a V visa, the spouse or child of the permanent resident needs a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed on their behalf on or before December 21, 2000 by the permanent resident relative. The spouse or child also must have been waiting for at least 3 years after the form was filed for their immigrant status—either because a visa number was not available or because we had not yet adjudicated the Form I-130 or Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. In most cases, V nonimmigrants will eventually adjust status as the spouse or child of a permanent resident when a visa number becomes available and the Form I-130 and Form I-485 have been adjudicated. 

For more information, see Sections 101(a)(15)(V), 214(q) and 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and 8 CFR 214.15, 245 and 248.

Eligibility Criteria

You may be eligible to receive a green card as a V nonimmigrant if you:

  • Are the beneficiary (as the spouse or child) of an immigrant visa petition that was filed by a permanent resident by December 21, 2000
  • Obtained V status either in the United States or abroad and have continuously maintained your status while in the United States
  • Continue to remain eligible to adjust status as the spouse or child of a permanent resident (or U.S. citizen, if your spouse or parent has now naturalized)
  • Have an immigrant visa immediately available
  • Are admissible to the United States

Application Process

To obtain a green card, you need to file Form I-485.

Supporting Evidence for the Form I-485

You should submit the following evidence and documentation with your application:

  • Two passport-style photos
  • Form G-325A, Biographic Information
  • Copy of government issued photo identification
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of passport page with nonimmigrant visa (if applicable)
  • Copy of passport page with admission (entry) or parole stamp (if applicable) 
  • Form I-94, Admission/Departure record (if applicable)
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record 
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
  • Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing the date you were granted V nonimmigrant status (based on Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status)
  • Form I-797, Notice of Action, as evidence of the Form I-130 approval letter or receipt notice
  • Applicable filing fees

Medical Examinations

If you received a complete medical exam conducted by either a Panel Physician overseas or a Civil Surgeon within the United States prior to receiving your V visa, you are not required to have another medical exam if your Form I-485 is filed within one year of your medical exam. You will, however, be required to submit the vaccination portion of Form I-693, which will be completed by a Civil Surgeon. See the filing instructions for Form I-693 for further information.

Requirements for Travel Outside the United States While Your Form I-485 is Pending

You do not need to file for advance parole prior to traveling abroad while your Form I-485 is pending; however, you must obtain a V visa from a consular office abroad in order to be readmitted to the United States as a V nonimmigrant. Departure from the United States at any time after having accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence will render you inadmissible to the United States to adjust status unless you obtain a waiver. Therefore, before traveling outside the United States while your Form I-485 is pending, please carefully consider any possible consequences.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/02/2009