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Who Is Eligible for a U-Visa?
Oct 12, 2022

Who Is Eligible for a U-Visa?

Crime victims may be eligible for certain protections by obtaining a U-visa. It intends to protect crime victims and help them feel safer reporting a crime they were involved in. However, there are certain qualifications you must fulfill to receive a U-visa. 

If you are thinking of applying for a U-visa, contact an immigration attorney to learn if you are qualified. Contact Villarrubia & Rosenberger, P.C. for information specific to your situation. 

What Is a U-Visa?

A U-Visa is a type of humanitarian nonimmigrant visa status. U-visas are granted for certain crime victims who experienced physical or mental abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation of criminal activity. The U nonimmigrant visa was created by Congress alongside the passing of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. The legislation intends to improve criminal investigations and the prosecution of domestic violence, trafficking and sexual assault, as well as protect noncitizen victims of crime. 

U Nonimmigrant Eligibility

An individual may be qualified for a U-visa if they fulfill the following provisions:

  • You were the victim of qualifying criminal activity. 
  • You experienced significant physical or mental abuse due to being the victim of criminal activity. 
  • You have information that can assist the investigation. If you are under 16 or have a disability that prevents you from providing information, another individual may provide the information on your behalf.  
  • You were or are likely to be helpful to government officials and law enforcement during the investigation. 
  • The crime took place in the U.S. or violated U.S. law.
  • You are admissible to the U.S. There are waivers available if you are not admissible to the U.S.

There are many qualifying criminal activities, including extortion, abduction, murder, sexual assault, domestic violence, torture, trafficking and more. 

How to Apply for a U-Visa

If you are planning to petition for a U nonimmigrant status, you must submit several key documents. An Indianapolis immigration attorney can help you prepare your application: 

  • Form I-918, the Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status and Supplement B
  • Form I-192, if inadmissibility issues exist
  • A statement describing the criminal incident of which you were a victim
  • Evidence to demonstrate your eligibility, including the Humanitarian Benefits Based Forms

If you currently reside outside of the U.S., you may still petition for a U-visa as long as you file all of the necessary forms with the Vermont Service Center. Follow all directions, which may include providing fingerprints at a U.S. Embassy. If approved, you will need to complete the consular process and interview to enter the U.S. 

Can I Apply for a Green Card?

After receiving a U-visa, you may be qualified for an adjustment of status to permanent residency through a Green Card. To be eligible, you must have lived in the U.S. for at least three continuous years while in U nonimmigrant status, and you have cooperated with law enforcement since receiving your visa.

If you are interested in obtaining permanent U.S. residency, or if you’d like to review your U-visa application, call our immigration attorneys at Villarrubia & Rosenberger, P.C. for a consultation.

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