A non-immigrant visa is a temporary card that will allow you to enter the United States for a specified time and a specific purpose. It is essential because you can achieve your goals and even have your status changed after its expiry. There are different types of non-immigrant visas that you can apply for. One of them is the non-immigrant visa for spouse and children for a lawful Permanent resident (LPR)

A non-immigrant visa for spouse and children of a lawful permanent resident will allow you to stay with your family in The United States as you wait to have your immigrant visa processed.  You and the children to the lawful permanent residence can then have an opportunity to apply for a visa to adjust your status in the U.S. Non-immigrant visa can be challenging during the application process. If you experience difficulty with the process, you should contact our experts at California Immigration Attorney to help you through the process.

Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

A lawful permanent resident is a green card holder residing in the US permanently. An LPR can work without any restrictions and receive the benefits available in the United States. There are different ways to apply for permanent residency if you are a foreigner as long as you meet specific criteria. You can obtain permanent residency through family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, or any other program.

Petition for Children of A Lawful Permanent Resident

It is a preference system where a U.S citizen can petition to have you with them if you are one of the children. The law considers you a child if you are under 21 and unmarried. If you are one of the ' children of an LPR, he or she will include you in the petition. Once you move to the United States as a spouse or a child to a lawful permanent resident, you can have your status adjusted to a permanent resident as long as you qualify for the same.

The petitions of the children start with filing Form I-130 and paying a filing fee. He or she should also prove that they are a permitted resident. The citizen presenting a copy of the foreign passport stamped to show permanent residency will show the proof.

For the citizen to have the petition to bring you to the U.S approved, he or she must show your relationship. Depending on the relationship, he or she should present your birth certificate and any other relevant document that shows you are their child. Depending go the relationship, the U.S citizen can be:

  • Your step-mother — she should present a copy of the marriage certificate to your biological father
  • Biological mother She should present the birth certificate to show that she is your mother
  • Biological father He should present a marriage certificate to show that he is married to your biological mother
  • Adoptive parent — he or she should provide a copy of the adoptive decree, evidence that you have been under his or her custody for two years, and show that you have been under his or her physical custody for two years.

Visa for A Spouse of A Lawful Permanent Resident

A U.S citizen can petition to have you live with them as a spouse for a specified period and purpose. To have your visa approved, you and your spouse should show that you have met within two years, that you have the intention to get married, and that you are in a position to get married. When you do not comply with the visa application requirement, a waiver may be granted, although it happens in rare cases. If you are a couple and you were allowed to move to California for marriage purposes, you should file the petition within 90 days, a failure to which you will go back to your home country. The only exception happens when you submit another petition to adjust the status. Suppose the two of you are outside California at the time of application. In that case, the U.S citizen should file the petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services with California citizens' jurisdiction in the United States.

One of the reasons that will make the USCIS not approve your visa is criminal history. During the application for the visa, you are required to disclose your criminal records. If the USCIS had previous convictions, for example, a specified offense against a minor, your application may not go through. Therefore, you should hire an attorney to convince the department that your criminal history poses no risk to the public.

As a spouse to a lawful permanent resident, you can apply for a permanent residency before your initial green card expires, and you will have a two years conditional visa. The issuance of a conditional visa means that you can reside in the U.S and work there. Before the conditional visa expiry, you should file a petition to revoke the conditions and obtain unconditional residency.

Who is a Spouse?

You are a spouse if you are a legally wedded wife or husband. There is some limitation for immigration even if you are a spouse to a lawful permanent resident. For example, if you were not living together, your application process may not go through. If you do not qualify as a citizen's spouse, your application may also fail. Finally, if your spouse is polygamous, only the first wife will be granted the visa.

Steps to Filing the Petition

As a spouse to a lawful permanent resident, your partner will follow some steps to ensure that you are granted a visa. The steps he or she should follow are:

Filing the Petition

The citizen must file a Petition for Alien Relative with the United States citizenship and Immigration services from your country and with the Department of Homeland Security by filing a Form I-130. The LPR will later file Form I-129, a petition for alien spouses and individuals below 21 years. A notice will be sent to notify the petitioner that the application has been received. If the USCIS approves, the petitions will be sent for processing to the National Visa Center.

Visa Application

If the national Visa Center receives an approved petition for an Alien spouse, it will be processed. The national Visa center's approved petition will then be sent to the consulate to issue you a green card or the U.S embassy. The consulate will generally be the country where the marriage took place. If your country doesn’t have a consulate or an embassy, the approved petition will be sent to the embassy that processes visas for your country.

The embassy where your petition will be sent will advise you on where to go for the medical examination as a requirement to obtain a visa. During the interview, ink-free and digital fingerprints will be taken. The same process will be done to bring individuals below the age of 21.

Documentation Requirement

There are documents you and the individuals below 21 should present during the interview. They are;

  • A completed Form DS-160, an Online Visa Application you and eligible individuals below 21 should complete two forms of the visa application, print the confirmation page, and present it during the interview.
  • A valid passport for travel You and the eligible individuals below 21 should be valid passports. The passports should be dated at least six months beyond your intended stay period in the United States. There will only be some exceptions depending on the country-specific agreements with the embassy.
  • Civil documents you and the eligible individuals below 21 should present the following documents during the interview:
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate as proof of marriage to the lawful permanent resident
    • Death or a divorce certificate if you had a previous spouse
    • A police certificate shows your present country and shows all the countries you have lived in for six months. The same document should be presented for individuals above 16 years.
  • Medical examination You and the individuals below 21 should undertake a medical examination and be issued a report to be used during the interview. The report will show any medical condition that you have or ailment that you may be suffering. The report will determine if you are eligible to move to the U.S with the health issues or you should return to your home country.
  • Financial support evidence — You are required to prove that you will not depend on the government's services for your survival. Therefore, you should present a document to show that you have financial support or a source of finance to rely on.
  • Two photographs
  • Evidence to show that you are a spouse to the lawful permanent resident
  • Fees payment — you and the eligible individuals below 21 should pay filing fees for the complete process

There may be other additional documents that the consular may request to determine if your marriage with the LPR is genuine. The consular officer may ask you to present the wedding photographs, among other things. If the documents you present to the consular officer during the interview are in a different language, the translation will be needed. You should present the original documents during the interview are the originals, which will be returned once the interview has ended.

Vaccination and Medical Examination Requirements

Before you and eligible individuals below 21 are issued a visa or invited for the interview, it is a requirement that you undergo a medical examination performed by a panel of physicians. The embassy will provide information about the medical examination to apply for the visa or the consulate. The medical information will include the authorized panel of physicians by country. You will also be required to be vaccinated, as a requirement under the United States immigration law. The vaccination is not a vital issue for a non-immigrant visa application, but it will be required to adjust your status. Therefore, you must complete the vaccination to reduce your status adjustment petition's chances of not being approved.

Affidavit of Support Forms and Proof of Financial Support

You and the citizen’s children should prove that you will not be a public charge once you get to the U.S. Therefore, you should provide a document to show that you are financially stable or that the citizen will support you financially. If the support comes from the citizen, the consular office will request him or her to submit Form I-134, an Affidavit of Support.

Fees Payment Requirement

You will be charged some fees for various services offered to you. You will be required to pay fees for the following services:

  • Filing Form I-130 — a Petition for Alien relative
  • Filing Form I-129F — a petition for an Alien fiancé
  • Filing Form DS-160 — a fee paid for non-immigrant visa application
  • Medical examination, which varies from post to post
  • Other costs involved in the entire process, such as photocopying fee, translation fees, police certificates, among others
  • Filing Form I-485 — an application to have your status adjusted while in the United States

Rights and Ineligibilities for a Visa

Once you have your visa approved, you are entitled to your rights as a lawful permanent resident. The rights you should be entitled to relate to sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and any other protection that you may need from the government.

Some ineligibility will make your visa not approved or will make you deported even after you are granted a visa. The conditions that will affect your visa application or your stay in the U.S are overstaying once your visa expires, drug trafficking, and presenting a false document for your visa application. If there are issues with your visa application, the consular officer will inform you. There are times when a waiver is considered. If you meet the waiver requirements, you will also be notified and advised on the steps to follow to have your visa application successfully.

Am I Eligible for a Nonimmigrant Visa?

If you are a child or a spouse to the resident, you can apply for a visa and have an opportunity to move to California under some conditions. The lawful permanent resident should file FormI-13, which is a Petition for an Alien relative. Therefore, they will file a petition for you or the children under the age of 21. the eligibility criteria is that:

  • The priority date of the petition filed should be at least three years old
  • The priority date should not be current
  • You or the children to the LPR should not have e a scheduled immigrant visa interview
  • You and your children should meet the requirement set for non-immigrants

You will benefit from a non-immigrant visa if you are a spouse or a child to a lawful permanent resident and if you have been away from the LPR. You will also benefit from a V visa if you have met the minimum requirement while staying in The United States for three years. If you are a resident and your application for a non-immigrant visa is not approved, you will be required to leave or adjust your status.

If you are applying for a non-immigrant visa while in the U.S, you will be required to fill two forms:

  • Form I-539, which is an application for adjusting your status
  • Form I-693, which is a medical examination of non-immigrants who want to adjust their status in the U.S

If your non-immigrant visa has been approved, you can apply for a job temporarily. You can also move out of the State but under some conditions. The conditions that apply are:

  • You obtained the V visa abroad, the visa is not expired, and you are still eligible for a visa
  • If your visa is obtained in the United States and you move out, you will be required to visit the consular office before returning.

The Process of Nonimmigrant Visa Application

The process starts when you apply with the embassy in your home country or with the United States consulate. You need to make the application in advance because the approval may take time. For you to be granted a non-immigrant visa, you need to:

  • Complete FormDS-160, which is a non-immigrant visa application
  • Have a current passport and should also be valid
  • Provide your photographs
  • Pay some application fee

Before the approval of your application, you will be required to attend an interview with the consular office. You will be questioned about the purpose of the visa, if you have an intention to go back to your country after it expires and if you can pay your expenses. After your application is approved, you should present your visa at the port of entry.

Categories of Immigration Status

There are various categories that you may fall into if you are an alien. You can either be a U.S citizen, a resident, undocumented, or a non-immigrant.

United States Citizen

You can become a U.S citizen by birth or by residence for more than five years. If you obtain citizenship in any of the above ways, you cannot be deported unless you obtained your citizenship through fraud. You can benefit from all the services in the states and work legally. You can also petition your spouse, children, or siblings' legal status in addition to the above. Your citizenship can be permanent (Lawful Permanent Resident) or temporal.

Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR)

You will be considered an LPR if you have a green card. Being a lawful permanent resident means that you can permanently reside and work in the United States. To prove that you are a lawful U.S resident, you are issued a permanent resident card. There are different ways in which you can gain permanent residency. You can be sponsored by your family members or through employment. Other ways you can become a U.S citizen is through Asylees status or any other humanitarian program. If your spouse doesn't file a petition for you, you can still file it independently.

Conditional Residency

It is a program where you are issued a green card under certain conditions for two years. After the two years, you are required to have the conditions removed, or else you will be deported due to card termination. To have the conditions removed from your card, we will be required to file a petition and present supporting documents and pay some fee for the petition. The petition should be filed 90 days before your card expires.

For both conditions; Lawful permanent residents and those on conditional residency can live and work in California. Unless you have some criminal records that can restrict you from filing for permanent residency, it should be an easy process to have your status adjusted. If you have been a citizen for five years, you can apply for citizenship. If you obtained your green card due to marriage, you could apply for a permanent residency after three years.

Non Immigrants

If you are a non-immigrant, it means that you are in California temporarily. You are considered a non-immigrant if you are in any of the following categories:

  • Student
  • Fiancée
  • Tourist or business investor
  • Individual granted protected status temporary

If you overstay or violate any of the terms documented in the cards, your status will be adjusted to undocumented.

Undocumented U.S Residents

You will fall under the undocumented category if you reside in without legal documents or permission. Therefore, it means you do not have permission to live and work in The U.S. You are also not authorized to benefit from the government's public services, including health care services and getting a driver’s license.

If your citizenship is illegal, your stay will be stressful and unstable because each day, you will be risking being deported at any time. The two ways that you can become an undocumented citizen is if you overstay after your card expires and if you entered California and did not go through the legal procedure.

Contact An Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Near Me

If you are a spouse or a child to a lawful permanent resident and face challenges in your V visa application, you should contact an expert. Our attorneys at California Immigration Attorney will help increase your chance of having your application approved. They are knowledgeable about immigration laws and understand the different laws that affect different types of visas. Feel free to reach us at 424-789-8809 before proceeding with your application.