U Non-Immigrant Status Assist Immigrants Who Are Victims of Crimes

The U non-immigrant status is an immigration program that was developed to assist those who are victims of criminal activity. This type of status was created as part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act passed by Congress in 2000.  The category of U non-immigrant status specifically addresses those who are crime victims who have suffered physical or mental abuse. Further, their assistance may be necessary in order to help law enforcement in the prosecution of the criminal case.

Eligibility for U Non-Immigrant Status Visas

There are eligibility requirements for a U non-immigrant status visa. An immigrant may be eligible if he or she is a victim of criminal activity and have suffered serious physical or mental abuse as a result. You may be eligible if you have information about the criminal activity which would be helpful in locating and prosecuting the perpetrator. The crime must have occurred in the United States. You must be admissible to the U.S. or apply for a waiver for permission.

Types of Criminal Activity That Qualify

Only certain types of criminal activity are included in the eligibility for a U non-immigrant status visa. Generally, felony crimes qualify such as rape, abduction, kidnapping, sexual abuse, torture, blackmail, witness tampering, extortion, and domestic violence. Many other types of serious crimes are included. If you have been the victim or witness to a crime you should talk to an attorney to determine eligibility.

Application for U Non-Immigrant Status

Applicants may be located in or outside of the United States at the time of application. Several forms must be utilized for the process. Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status must be filled out and submitted. You must also include Form I-918 Supplement B, a certification document. The supplement must be authorized by the authorized law enforcement agency. This confirms that your presence is necessary to prosecute the case.

Additional Information Regarding U Visas

There is a limit to the number of U visas that can be granted each year. Once 10,000 U visas have been granted the applicant will go onto a waiting list. Immediate family members are eligible to receive U visas. Applicants may also be required to submit a statement regarding the details of the criminal activity. Those who are not admissible must file a waiver in order to be considered for status.

U Visas are often quite complicated and therefore it is advisable to seek assistance from an attorney with immigration experience. Call the legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation to learn more about U visa eligibility and application.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding U Non-Immigrant Status, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.