U VISA/U NONIMMIGRANT STATUS
What is U nonimmigrant Status?
The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is an immigration benefit set aside for victims of certain crimes and their qualifying family members. If granted, it allows those who qualify to live and work in the United States. It is also a pathway to permanent residence, as U nonimmigrants may apply for a green card after being in U Nonimmigrant Status for three (3) years.
How do I know if I Qualify for U nonimmigrant Status?
In order to Qualify for U nonimmigrant Status, you must:
- Be a victim of a quafiying criminal activity that happened in the U.S. or violated a U.S. law
- Possess reliable information about the crime or criminal activity
- You were helpful or are willing to be helpful with the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
- Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the qualifying criminal activity or crime
- Are admissible to the United States, or apply for a waiver if inadmissible.
What is considered a "qualifying criminal activity"?
Criminal activity is defined as the attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the following crimes:
Abduction; Abusive Sexual Contact; Blackmail; Domestic Violence; Extortion; False Imprisonment; Female Genital Mutilation; Felonious Assault; Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting; Hostage; Incest; Involuntary Servitude; Kidnapping; Manslaughter; Murder; Obstruction of Justice; Peonage; Perjury; Prostitution; Rape; Sexual Assault; Sexual Exploitation; Slave Trade; Stalking; Torture; Trafficking; Witness Tampering; Unlawful Criminal Restraint and Other Related Crimes.
How Do Start My U Visa Application Process?
U Certification: The first and most important step is to obtain U Certification from a certifying government agency charged with investigating or prosecuting criminal activity. U certification is important because without a signed form I-918 Supplement B, you will not qualify for a U Visa as it is a required part of the application. A qualified Immigration Attorney will be able to assist you with contacting law enforcement and advocating on your behalf for them to sign a U Certification request.
If you are interested in learning if you qualify for a U Visa, or learning more as to how a U visa may benefit you and your family members, schedule a consultation to learn more.