A U Visa lets some victims of crimes stay in the United States. A U Visa allows someone to legally live in the United States for 4 years, they receive employment authorization, and some of their family members (Spouse, Children, Parents, and Siblings) may also be eligible for a U Visa and its benefits as well.
What happens after the U Visa? You can apply for your legal permanent residency (aka green card) after 3 years of having a U-Visa. You can apply for U.S. Citizenship after 5 years from receiving a green card.
Who Qualifies for a U Visa?
To qualify for a U-Visa, an applicant must satisfy all of the following requirements:
- Must have been a victim of a crime INSIDE the United States;
- Must have helped the police or prosecutors with the investigation of the crime.
(A conviction of the perpetrator is NOT NECESSARY)
- The crime must have harmed the U Visa Applicant physically or mentally
What Crimes Qualifying for the U Visa?
Below is a list of some of the crimes that may qualify an applicant for a U Visa:
- Domestic Abuse
- Sexual Assault
- Abusive Sexual Contact
- Forced Prostitution
- Sexual Exploitation
- Felonious Assault
- Involuntary Servitude
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Being Held Hostage
- Slave Trade
- Unlawful Criminal Restraint
- False Imprisonment
- Obstruction of Justice
- Witness Tampering
The Crime must be investigated by law enforcement. Again, a conviction is not necessary to qualify for a U Visa. Even an Attempt or Conspiracy of the above crimes can be eligible grounds for the U Visa.
What is the Process for Obtaining a U Visa?
First, the applicant must obtain a certification from law enforcement by use of USCIS FORM I-918 Supplement B.
Second, once the applicant has received this certification, the applicant must complete the U Visa application (USCIS FORM I-918).
If you have any concerns, you should speak with a local Immigration Attorney, or you may call Fickey Martinez Law Firm, P.L.L.C. at (910) 526-0066 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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