What is a U Visa?

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:

  1. Must have been a victim of a crime INSIDE the United States;
  2. Must have helped the police or prosecutors with the investigation of the crime.
    (A conviction of the perpetrator is NOT NECESSARY)
  3. 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
  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Abusive Sexual Contact
  • Forced Prostitution
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Felonious Assault
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Peonage
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Incest
  • Kidnapping
  • Abduction
  • Being Held Hostage
  • Slave Trade
  • Unlawful Criminal Restraint
  • False Imprisonment
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Blackmail
  • Extortion
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Witness Tampering
  • Perjury

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 attorney@fickeymartinezlaw.com.

 

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