CRIMINAL IMMIGRATION LAWYER
The U Visa is a nonimmigrant status, intended for immigrant victims of serious crimes.
The U Visa qualifying crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Violent crimes including murder, manslaughter, homicide, robbery, felonious assault, and domestic violence.
- Sexual crimes including rape, incest, sexual trafficking, sexual Assault, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, and abusive sexual contact.
- Enslavement crimes including kidnapping, human trafficking, slavery, criminal restraint, forced labor, abduction, debt servitude, and false imprisonment.
- Obstruction of justice crimes like witness tampering, blackmail, perjury, and withholding evidence.
- Fraud in foreign labor contracting.
Victims are allowed to stay in the U.S. to provide law enforcement officials with information helpful in arresting and prosecuting criminal activity.
This includes being helpful and providing assistance when reasonably requested.
There are six main requirements for U nonimmigrant visa:
- The petitioner must have been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity;
- The petitioner must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of these criminal activities;
- The petitioner must have information concerning that criminal activity. If under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on the individual’s behalf;
- The petitioner must have been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime;
- The criminal activity occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws;
- The petitioner is admissible to the United States. If not admissible, an individual may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant.
Victims are permitted to stay in the country for a maximum of four years, which may be extended if “exceptional circumstances” warrant it. Under certain conditions, an individual with U nonimmigrant status may adjust to lawful permanent resident status and apply for a Green card, after three years of continuous presence in the U.S.
Prior immigration violations or even an aggravated felony conviction is not a bar to applying for the U Visa. See 8 USC § 1101(a)(15)(U). Therefore, the U Visa can be used as a form of relief while in deportation proceedings.
Speak to a criminal immigration attorney if you believe you qualify for U Visa classification.