The U-nonimmigrant status (U-visa) is reserved for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity. Congress created the U-nonimmigrant visa with the enforcement of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in October 2000.
The legislation was initiated to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of non-citizens, and other crimes while also protecting the victims of the crimes who have suffered significant mental or physical abuse due to the crime. They should also be willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity. It gives a clear indication of the requirements for qualifying for a U-visa.
One would be eligible for a U-visa if:
- You are the victim of a qualifying criminal activity
- You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of criminal activity
- You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or are unable to provide relevant information due to a disability, then a parent, guardian, or next friend might possess the information on your behalf.
- You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or friend can provide the information on your behalf
- The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S laws.
- You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver.
There is an extensive list of qualifying criminal activities which are to be examined for verification that the victim falls under the requisite category or categories.
The Benefits of the U-Visa Process are:
- Lawful status for up to four years
- Work authorization
- Derivative benefits for qualifying family members
- Eligibility to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident after three years
USCIS may deny a U-visa petition for various reasons, including if the victim’s criminal history warrants such as decision. Denials may occur in cases where a victim has multiple arrests, convictions, or a serious or violent criminal arrest record. USCIS denies also denies many waivers for applicants non-admissible to the United States, which means it also denies U-visas to applicants asking for waivers.
Speak With Our Immigration Attorney Today
If you are looking to apply for a U-visa on your behalf or on behalf of a family member or friend, you do not have to look further than the Daniel Albert Law firm. The U-visa process has several steps and is a lengthy process of documentation and verification involving legal matters. Resorting to a lawyer who is well informed and has expert guidance regarding such matters is important.
Talk to the best equipped lawyers to help you with your case. Call us at 832-930-3059 to book your consultation or for more information.