If you are a permanent resident and filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for your spouse, child, or step-child, it may take a while before their priority date becomes current. If you filed the I-130 petition before a certain date and if your family member has been waiting for a certain period of time, your family member may be eligible for a V visa that would allow him/her to come to the U.S. and live with you while waiting for his/her priority date to become current.
1. You must have filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for your family member (spouse, child, or step-child) on or before December 21, 2000. This includes children (unmarried and under 21) listed on the petition.
2. The I-130 petition must have been pending for at least 3 years; or, if the petition has been approved, the family member must have been waiting at least 3 years for their priority date to become current.
How to apply
1. If your family member is already in the U.S., s/he has to file a Form I-539, Application to Change Nonimmigrant Status, with USCIS so that they obtain V status.
2. If your family member is outside the U.S., s/he has to apply for a V visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate.