U Visa for victims of crimes

The U visa status was created by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000.* It is designed to provide lawful status to noncitizen crime victims who assisted, are assisting or are willing to assist the authorities in investigating crimes.

What are the requirements for U visa?

  • The victim suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of the crime.
  • The victim has useful information concerning the crime which occurred.
  • The victim has helped, or is likely to help, in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
  • The crime committed violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States.
An immigrant who is the victim of one of the crimes listed above must obtain a law enforcement certification from a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency.

U visa applicants also must show that they are "admissible" or that they qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility if they are not admissible because of a criminal conviction, fraud or misrepresentation or unlawful presence.

Certain family members can qualify for derivative U nonimmigrant status.

What crimes are covered?

The U nonimmigrant status covers a broad range of serious crimes. To qualify for a U visa status, you must be a victim or the victim of an attempt of one of the following felonies or any similar criminal activity:
  • Abduction
  • Abusive sexual contact
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic violence
  • Extortion
  • False imprisonment
  • Felonious assault
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Hostage situations
  • Incest
  • Involuntary servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Torture
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Slave trade
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Unlawful criminal restraint
  • Witness tampering
  • Attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any of these crimes

Vawa for Domestic Violence Victims

If your United States citizen spouse or lawful resident spouse abused you physically or mentally, you can file a self-petition, form I-360, as an abused spouse and if granted by USCIS, you will be allowed to pursue your permanent resident card without any involvement from the abusive spouse. VAWA applies to both women and men who are victims of abuse.

In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), permitting alien battered spouses and children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to petition USCIS on their own behalf rather than relying upon the abusive spouse/parent. However, the provisions of IIRAIRA made self-petitioning difficult. The Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000) was enacted to remove some of those obstacles and to strengthen the original VAWA legislation

There are several requirements for the self- petitioner, among them that the marriage was entered into in good faith, that the petitioner has good moral character and is otherwise eligible for immediate relative status or preference status.

Here's How We Can Help You:

  • We will review your eligibility for the immigration benefit and identify any potential legal issues that may affect your eligibility.
  • We will help you gather the necessary documents in support of all relevant applications and petitions
  • We will prepare and submit all relevant applications and petitions with the appropriate U.S. Government office and ensure the submission of the correct filing fees
  • We will handle all communication with the appropriate U.S. Government office up until the interview is scheduled
To inquire about your eligibility to file a VAWA petition, please contact the Law Offices of Raul Ray at (408) 279-5793.
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