The various visa titles refer to specific types of applications for which an individual may apply. The U visa is a visa for individuals who are victims of certain crimes. The applicant who was victimized must have experienced substantial physical or mental harm as a result of the crime. The visa applicant must be willing to assist law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting the relevant crimes.
In order to qualify for a U visa, the applicant must obtain certification from law enforcement that he or she was helpful in investigating or prosecuting a qualifying crime, such as abduction, human trafficking, kidnapping, sexual assault, or extortion. The crime must have occurred within the United States.
If the applicant is under 16 or is disabled and unable to provide pertinent information, then a guardian or parent may present the information to law enforcement on the applicant’s behalf. The applicant must otherwise be admissible to the United States. The applicant may be able to file a U visa application if the applicant files other necessary paperwork.
Every year, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) authorizes a set number of visa applicants to apply for the visas. Under current law, the USCIS is authorized to permit up to 10,000 individuals to be approved for U visas.
If you have been notified by USCIS that you are eligible for the U visa program, but have not been approved for the visa because the cap of 10,000 was reached already, you must continue to meet the various eligibility requirements to remain on a waitlist. Once more spaces open up, you may then be able to move off of the waitlist and move forward in the visa application and approval process.
If you are eligible for a U Visa, certain family members may also be eligible to live and work in the United States. The following people may be eligible:
U visa applicants may be eligible for permanent residence. Please contact an experienced immigration attorney at JRQ to discuss eligibility.
The immigration system can be very complicated if you are not used to dealing with the intricacies of the law. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a serious crime and believe you may be eligible for a U visa, please consider consulting an experienced immigration attorney at JRQ & Associates. Contact us today at 312.561.5062 for a free immigration consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys.