Our law firm has represented numerous people for U-Visas. We are happy to help you with this type of case, but it is very important that you understand the law and what you options are before you retain our services.
Unfortunately, there are some people that do not qualify for this kind of relief. This means that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) cannot legally grant a U-Visa in certain cases.
If you need help with a U Visa, our law firm would be more than happy to offer a free and informative consultation. We are willing to meet with you and walk you through the entire process. You may want to read the information below prior to your meeting with us so that you can be prepared for the questions we will ask.
To apply for a U-Visa, a person must be a victim of a qualifying crime that occurred in the United States. There are only certain crimes that will allow someone to be granted a U-Visa. The applicant must be a victim of one of the following qualifying crimes to be eligible for a U-Visa:
2. Abusive Sexual Contact
4. Domestic Violence
6. False Imprisonment
7. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
8. Felonious Assault (Aggravated Assault)
9. Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
12. Involuntary Servitude
16. Obstruction of Justice (Including violation of an order of protection)
21. Sexual Assault
22. Sexual Exploitation
23. Slave Trade
26. Trafficking (may also be eligible for a T-Visa)
27. Witness Tampering
28. Unlawful Criminal Restraint
29. Other Related Crimes (includes any similar activity where the elements of the crime are essentially the same, and also includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above crimes)
The individual must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of one of the above crimes.
The person must have information about the criminal activity. If he/she are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on their behalf.
The individual has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to an agency in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying crime.
The qualifying crime occurred in the U.S. or in the territories or possession of the U.S., or violated a U.S. federal law that allows the offense to be prosecuted in a U.S. Federal Court.
The individual is admissible to the U.S. under current immigration laws. Those who are not admissible may apply for a waiver.
The individual may be required to appear for an interview or provide fingerprints before a final decision is made. If an appointment is necessary, USCIS will notify the applicant to set up an appointment. After three years of having the U-Visa, the holder of the same will be eligible to become a legal permanent resident through the adjustment of status process as long as the person complies with the requirements to do so.
Once it is established that an applicant is a victim of a qualifying crime, the applicant must establish that he or she was helpful in the crime’s investigation. To prove this, the applicant must provide a police report regarding the qualifying crime. The applicant must also obtain a signature from a law enforcement officer on form I-918 Supplement B. This form signed by law enforcement certifies that the victim was helpful in the crime’s investigation.
The applicant also must prove that he or she suffered substantial physical or psychological harm as a result of being a victim of the qualifying crime. To prove suffering substantial physical or psychological harm, the applicant must provide copies of medical records for any medical treatment received in connection with the crime, photographs of injuries, and/or an evaluation from a psychologist.
Along with the U-Visa application, applicants will also need to file an I-192 waiver. This waiver will forgive unlawful presence in the United States, multiple illegal entries to the United States, and certain criminal convictions.
In certain circumstances, aggravated felonies may be waived if the conviction occurred before obtaining the I-918 B certification. However, even though an application for a waiver may be approvable, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services still has discretion in granting these waivers. The filing fee for the waiver is $585.
Our law firm has represented thousands of people who were victim of a crime and wanted to adjust their status with immigration. A U-Visa is the process in which victims of violent crimes are eligible to adjust their status. The Victims of Trafficking and Violence are allowed to change their immigration status within the United States from nonimmigrant to immigrant when complying with certain requirements-Protection Act of 2000-the act also permits the U-Visa holder to become a legal permanent resident after three years of continuous physical presence and when they have not unreasonably refused to provide assistance to law enforcement since receiving the U-Visa.
Depending on at what age the U-Visa application is filed; certain qualifying family members are eligible for a derivative U-Visa. The persons who qualify for derivative U-Visas are:
The limit on the number of U visas that may be granted to principal petitioners each year is 10,000. However, there is no cap for family members deriving status from the principal applicant, such as spouses, children, or other eligible family members.
If the cap is reached before all U nonimmigrant petitions have been adjudicated, USCIS will create a waiting list for any eligible principal or derivative petitioners that are awaiting a final decision and a U visa. Petitioners placed on the waiting list will be granted deferred action or parole and are eligible to apply for work authorization while waiting for additional U visas to become available.
Once additional visas become available, those petitioners on the waiting list will receive their visa in the order in which their petition was received. Petitioners on the waiting list do not have to take any additional steps to request the U visa. USCIS will notify the petitioner of the approval and the accompanying U visa.
Here are questions we must ask to determine whether a person is eligible for a U-Visa
1. How did you enter the United States?
2. How long have you resided in the United States?
3. Have you ever left the United States and if so, when and for how long?
4. Have you ever been deported?
5. Have you ever been caught crossing the border?
6. Have you ever signed a voluntary departure?
7. Have you ever been arrested for any crime?
8. Have you ever been convicted of committing any crime?
9. Are you a victim of a crime that occurred in the United States?
10. Did you help law enforcement with investigating the crime (answering questions, calling the
police, testifying in court)?
Please keep in mind that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is only authorized by Congress to grant 10,000 U-Visas per year. These cases thus can often take more than one year to be approved, as USCIS can reach the statutory cap very quickly and cannot approve more than 10,000 U-Visas per year.