Victims of various types of crimes are eligible to apply for U nonimmigrant status (U visa). These individuals have suffered physical or mental abuse. The U visa helps authorities complete investigations and prosecute criminal activity.
At Barrios Virgüez Attorneys, we have immigration law experts on staff. We can put you in touch with an immigration attorney who can teach you about U visas. Plus, we can respond to common questions surrounding these visas.
How Does a U Visa Work?
In October 2000, Congress passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. This was designed to help government bodies take an in-depth look into cases that involve sexual assault, domestic violence, and other acts of crime. It also protects people targeted by criminals after they have experienced various forms of abuse.
The U visa was created in accordance with this act. It is available to those individuals who meet the following requirements:
- A person is a victim of different types of criminal activities.
- A person has suffered some form of abuse as a result of being exposed to one or more criminal activities.
- A person can provide information about criminal activity. If a victim is a minor or cannot provide information about a crime due to certain circumstances, another individual who has this information can share it on their behalf.
- A person helps, is helpful, or may be able to assist authorities in the investigation or prosecution of a crime.
- The crime being investigated or prosecuted took place in the United States or was a violation of one or more U.S. laws.
- A person is admissible to the United States. If a person is inadmissible, this individual may be eligible to request a waiver via Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.
An immigration lawyer can help an individual determine their eligibility for a U visa. The attorney can get a client up to speed on this type of visa, how it works, and how to submit an application. Also, the attorney can define “qualifying criminal activity” and other terms that relate to U visas.
For a free legal consultation, call 678-888-2222
What Is a Qualifying Criminal Activity for a U Visa?
Qualifying criminal activities for U visas include:
- Taking someone away against their will (abduction)
- Engaging in any form of unwanted sexual contact
- Demanding money or other benefits from someone in exchange for not disclosing damaging or compromising information
- Obstructing justice
- Lying under oath (perjury)
An immigration attorney can provide details about qualifying criminal activities for U visas. If an individual is eligible for a U visa, the lawyer can offer insights into the application process. The lawyer can even help an individual submit their U visa application.
How Can I Apply for a U Visa?
Here are the steps required to request a U visa:
1. Submit the Appropriate Paperwork
To request a U visa, an individual must complete the following forms:
- Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status
- Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification; a law enforcement official must sign this form to verify its authenticity and confirm that an individual was helpful, is currently providing assistance, or will likely provide assistance in the investigation or prosecution of a case.
- If for any reason an application is deemed inadmissible, an individual can submit a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant to ask for a waiver.
Along with these forms, a U visa applicant must include a personal statement that details the criminal activity in which this individual was a victim. The applicant must also offer evidence relating to each eligibility requirement. An immigration lawyer can make sure all of the applicant’s paperwork is submitted in a timely manner.
2. Await a Response
There is a limitation (cap) of 10,000 U visas that can be issued per year. As such, there can be a backlog of U visa requests. By staying diligent, an individual can track the response to their U visa application.
An immigration lawyer will do everything in their power to help an individual’s U visa request get approved promptly. The attorney can advocate on an applicant’s behalf. In doing so, the attorney may help an applicant speed up the process of getting the request approved.
Do not wait to apply for a U visa, either. Due to the backlog of applications, it may take months before a U visa gets approved. Thus, by applying right away, an individual is well-equipped to get a response as soon as possible.
3. Receive the U Visa
If a U visa request is approved, an applicant will be notified accordingly. The visa grants a person the ability to stay in the United States for up to four years. During this time, an individual can obtain lawful employment and apply for a green card for lawful resident status within three years.
Click to contact our personal injury lawyers today
Should You Hire an Immigration Lawyer to Help Get a U Visa?
Hiring an immigration lawyer is paramount for those interested in getting a U visa. The attorney can guide a person through the U visa application process. This lawyer also ensures the U visa applicant receives ongoing support until their application gets approved.
An immigration lawyer can respond to a U visa applicant’s concerns and questions. The attorney keeps the applicant up to date on the status of their application. Once the application is approved, the lawyer ensures their client receives their U visa without delay.
The best immigration attorney can handle a declined U visa application as well. In this scenario, the lawyer can help their client explore ways to contest the application decision or submit a new application. That way, an individual can get plenty of help to receive a U visa.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Where Can I Find an Immigration Lawyer to Help with a U Visa?
Barrios Virgüez Attorneys is an immigration law firm with many years of experience. We can help you navigate the U visa application process. For more information, contact us today for a consultation.
Call or text 678-888-2222 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form