Immigration relief is available for crime victims; they may get U visas if they cooperate with the police! If you're an immigrant and have been victim of certain crimes, have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity, you might be eligible for a U visa!
The following are the enumerated crimes in the statute:
· Abusive Sexual Contact
· Domestic Violence
· False Imprisonment
· Felonious Assault
· Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
· Involuntary Servitude
· Obstruction of Justice
· Sexual Assault
· Sexual Exploitation
· Slave Trade
· Witness Tampering
Indirect victims may qualify. Also victims of conspiracies to any of these crimes may also qualify. Even if you are inadmissible to the U.S. due to a prior crime or immigration violation, you may still be able to take advantage of U status by filing a waiver.
Your family members might also be able to benefit from your U visa status:
· Unmarried children under 21
· Parents & unmarried siblings (if the victim if under 21)
In order to apply for U status, its best to first consult with an immigration attorney. Our office provides a free consultation for the purpose of determining eligibility. If you are eligible, we then try to get certification from the Police, District Attorneys/Prosecutors in your case. They should certify if you've made yourselves available to their respective offices for prosecuting the case. A prosecution of the case or a conviction is not needed, but your cooperation is necessary.
Once and if we have certification of the petition, we may file your petition with DHS and ask for relief, which is the U visa.
Because of a limited visa number availability, U-visa processing may take several years. So its important to file as soon as you can once there is a certification in order to get in line.
If you need any questions or need help in determining U visa eligibility, please call our Los Angeles office for a free consultation.