The V visa is a visa for family members of US permanent residents. It was created in 2000 as a way for families to be reunited, avoiding the longer process of immigration and naturalization. However, in accordance to the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act of 2000, all V visa applications must have been made before December 21st, 2000. The last V visas were issued in 2007. The application process is very complicated and consulting an immigration attorney or immigration lawyer for advice is highly recommended.
How to Apply for a V Visa
The application for a V visa can be submitted only if a Form I-130, also known as a Petition for an Alien Relative, was previously filed and after the US permanent resident and their family member(s) have been separated for at least three years for a reason that the visa number was not readily available at that time. The applicant's family member must also submit proof of a medical examination. The applicant and the recipient of the visa must then wait for an Immigrant visa to be issued before they can enter the United States to live, work, or study. These visas are limited to 90,000 in each calendar year, and so, there is a backlog of applications on file. While the visa recipient could technically visit the US on a visitor visa or use the Visa Waiver Program, in practice, they are not accepted and could result in being turned away at the border.
As applications for V visas are not accepted after December 2000, the number of such visas being issued has declined dramatically with each passing year. While attempts have been made in Congress to reintroduce the act, at the moment, there are no projections as to when it can be re-open.
Alternatives to the V Visa
Because the V visa is, in practice, no longer issued, it is best to consult an immigration attorney or immigration lawyer regarding alternative visas for family members if you are a US permanent resident seeking to be reunited with your family. Your spouse or minor children may be able to join you through by filing different forms or by seeking to applying for a visa of their own accord.