U Visa -Visas for Victims of Crimes
Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act
Description: The U visa was created by the “Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act”, established in October 2000.
This type of visa is available for persons who possess information helpful and necessary to the investigation of a crime through which they suffered physical or mental abuse.
Who qualifies for the U visa? There are four basic requirements to qualify for the U visa:
• The immigrant must have suffered physical or mental damage as a result for having been the victim of a crime
• The immigrant possesses information pertaining to the crime
• The immigrant has been, is, or possibly will be of help in the investigation and prosecution of the crime
• The criminal activity described violates the laws of the United States or has occurred within the United States
How can I apply for a U visa?
Form I-918 is required to apply for a U visa. Form I -918 includes specific and concrete questions that should be accompanied by strict evidence and certifications different to the needs of every case.
The process is complex and requires the careful analysis and preparation of a competent attorney who holds experience working with U visa applications.
This type of visa is available to victims of violent crimes who have suffered severely and have cooperated with the investigation or prosecution of the convicted perpetrator.
To apply for a U visa, the applicant must obtain a certification from the police agency that carried out the investigation of the crime or the district attorney’s office if the case was prosecuted. This certification may be obtained via form I-918B.
The principal applicant of a U visa may include their spouse and children under 21 years of age in the application. If the principal applicant is under 21 years of age, he or she can include parents, spouses, and children less than 21 years of age and single siblings less than 18 years of age.
If the U visa is approved, the applicant will receive a work permit for a period of 4 years and the opportunity to apply for permanent residency after 3 years with the U visa.
Schedule a consultation to learn more about how our immigration lawyers can help you.