A foreign-born person who is living in California may be able to qualify for a V nonimmigrant visa if they are the spouse or child of a permanent resident. The V nonimmigrant category was created in 2000 as part of the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act. People who qualify for a V visa will be allowed to live and work in the United States while they are waiting to secure their immigration status.
A person who would like to apply for a V visa must have been waiting for a green card for at least three years. The person's permanent resident spouse or parent must have submitted Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on their behalf prior to Dec. 21, 2000 or on that day. If a visa number has not yet become available for the person since Form I-130 or Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, was filed, they might be able to obtain a V visa in the meantime.