U Visa

U Visa is a great program for any undocumented person who has no other path to permanent residence. However, the downside of this program is that there is a statutory quota of only 10,000 visas per year and thus the wait now is over 10 years.

What exactly is the U visa program?

The U Visa is an incentive for victims of crime to work with law enforcement and help in the investigation. Many times immigrants are scared to go to the authorities. If you, your spouse or child was a victim of crime, read below to learn more.

What are the requirements?

You, your spouse, or child was a victim of crime.

Also, the crime occurred within the US.

Further, the type of crime is one from the list below.

And the victim suffered a substantial physical or mental injury.

Finally, you helped law enforcement.

What types of crime qualify?

  • Rape; Torture; Murder, manslaughter, or
  • Felonious assault;
  • Trafficking;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Sexual crimes: sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, incest, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation;
  • Slavery and hostage crimes: being held hostage, peonage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, false imprisonment;
  • Blackmail or extortion;
  • Witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury;
  • Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes .

The term “any similar activity” refers to criminal offenses in which the nature and elements of the offenses are substantially similar to the statutorily enumerated list of criminal activities.” See 8 CFR § 214.14

What are the benefits of the U Visa?

If you are approved you get:

  • Lawful status for up to four year,
  • And work authorization,
  • Also derivative benefits for qualifying family members,
  • And Eligibility to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident after three years.

Can I report to the police if I have a deportation?

Yes, when you are a victim of crime, you are helping the police capture the assailant. The police will take a report and will ask you detailed questions about the event. The police has no business asking questions about your immigration status. In addition, in order for the police to figure out if you have a deportation they need to fingerprint you and this is NOT something that is done when you are a victim reporting a crime.

Do I qualify for U visa if I have a felony?

Yes, most likely you can still qualify. The U visa waiver waives almost all inadmissibility grounds.

Can I qualify for U visa if I am subject to the permanent Bar?

Yes, even if you are subject to the permanent bar!

Do I qualify for U visa if I have a deportation?

Yes, you qualify even if you have a deportation.

Can I qualify if there is no conviction?

Yes, a conviction, or even arrest is not necessary. Not only that, but you may be eligible for a U visa even if the perpetrator is acquitted or convicted of a different crime.

What if the victim was my child but I reported the crime?

In this situation, you are eligible through your child.

Does USCIS run background checks on family members seeking derivative status?

Yes, anyone asking for derivative U visa status will need to provide fingerprints.

victim of crime domestic violence
victim of crime (domestic violence)