A U-visa is a special nonimmigrant status for victims of certain crimes who have suffered from mental or physical abuse and have helped law enforcement in the investigation and/or prosecution of the criminal activity.
Who qualifies for a U-visa?
Not all kinds of crimes qualify as a criminal activity for a U-visa. Along with those criminal activities specified by the USCIS, there are more requirements to be met when applying for a U-visa. The following must be met:
You are the victim of a qualifying criminal activity;
You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim;
You have information about the criminal activity;
You were helpful, are helpful or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement during the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime;
The crime occurred in the United States;
You are admissible to the United States.
Qualifying Crimes eligible for U-Visas:
To qualify for a U-visa, the criminal activity must be one of the following:
Abusive Sexual Contact
Female Genital Mutilation
Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
Obstruction of Justice
Unlawful Criminal Restraint
Other Related Crimes
U-Visa application Process:
In order to obtain a U-visa, the investigating authorities must provide a certification indicating the person helped in giving information.
Unfortunately, a limit was placed on the number of U-visas that may be granted each year. Only 10,000 visas are issued every year. Once that cap is reached, petitioners are placed on a waiting list for the following year. In addition, due to long processing times with USCIS, U-visas can take up to 5 years to be adjudicated. In the mean time however, if a U-visa application is pending and is deemed bona fide, the petitioner may be eligible to apply for an employment authorization. For more information contact us today.
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.