U Visa is a nonimmigrant visa set aside for victims of crimes who have suffered a substantial mental or physical abuse in the United States or the territories and possessions of the United States.
Congress created the U Visa in 2000, hoping to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes while, at the same time, offer protection to victims of such crimes.
U Visa Eligibility
In order for an immigrant to be eligible for a U Visa there are four requirements that must be met based on 8 C.F.R. §214.14(b)(1-4):
- Immigrant has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity;
- Immigrant possesses credible and reliable information about the criminal activity of which he or she is a victim of;
- Immigrant was helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity;
- The criminal activity occurred in the United States (including Indian country and military installations) or the territories and possessions of the United States.
An immigrant who has petitioned for or who has been granted U Visa nonimmigrant status may petition for qualifying family members such as child(ren), spouse, unmarried sibling(s) under the age of 18 and if the principal applicant is under the age of 21, he or she can petition for the parent(s) as well.
Immigrants in removal, deportation or exclusion proceedings are still allowed to petition for a U nonimmigrant visa, and they may file a request for a stay of removal pursuant to 8 C.F.R. 241.6(a) and 8 C.F.R. 1241.6(a)
Please call our office in Los Angeles to discuss your qualifications and the U Visa petition process as it applies to your unique case at (323) 218-0465 or write to us using this online form.
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