Visas for Spouse, Children, Marriage

Q: I understand that the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act has a provision for V1, V2, and V3 visas for the spouse and children of a green card holder if they fulfill two conditions: (1) their I-130 petition must be filed and approved before Dec. 2, 2000; and (2) they have been waiting for at least three years. I am a green card holder and my I-130 petitions for my wife and children were approved in May 2005. Will they be eligible to apply for V1 and V2 visas after a three-year wait, i.e. in May 2008?

A: In order to be eligible for a V visa under the LIFE Act, the following conditions must be met:

You, as a lawful permanent resident, must have filed the immigrant visa petition (I-130) for your spouse/children on or before 12/21/2000.

Your spouse/children must have been waiting three years since the filing of the immigrant visa petition.

You have not indicated the date you filed your I-130 petition. If the petitions were filed before 12/21/2000, and they have not yet been scheduled for an immigrant visa interview, then you should contact the U.S. consulate in your home country. Consult with an experienced attorney if you are not sure.

Q: I am a green-card holder and it will be two more years before I can file for U.S. citizenship. I got married recently in India. My wife is in the United Kingdom on a student visa. Can she come here on a tourist visa or student visa from the U.K.? What is the best way to bring her to the United States?

A: Your wife can certainly try and file an application for a B-2 (tourist) or F-1 (student), as long as she is able to document her intent to return to the United Kingdom. It may be difficult to establish this intent given that she is married to a permanent resident. You may wish to explore other nonimmigrant visa options that specifically allow dual intent.

Q: My friend came to the United States in 2000 on a student visa. He went to school for one semester, and then fell sick and couldn’t continue in school. He returned to Nepal in March 2007. On his departure he was fingerprinted although he has no criminal record. Now his American girlfriend wants to bring him here. How can she do that? They want to get married.

A: If they get engaged outside of the United States, and intend to get married within 90 days of his entry into the United States, the U.S. citizen fiancée should be able to sponsor him on a K-1 visa. They must be able to demonstrate that they have met in the last two years and the relationship is bona fide. Please consult with an attorney for further information.

Immigration and business attorney Indu Liladhar-Hathi has an office in San Jose. (408) 453-5335.


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