U Visas For Crime Victims
U VISA - NONCITIZEN VICTIMS OF CERTAIN QUALIFYING CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
Are you here illegally? Have you suffered from domestic violence? Did you know there are laws in place to help? In most cases, women allow the abuse because they fear deportation. Let us guide you in the process and handle your application for legal status. We will be caring and sensitive to your needs. We can help you in the process to stay in the United States without fear of being sent to another country. You have rights here in the USA that will protect you even if you are not here legally, and even if you have been ordered removed from the US-if you are being abused. We are here to help you.
Congress has provided a specific avenue for immigrant crime victims to obtain lawful immigration status.
In October 2000, Congress passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA). As part of the VTVPA, Congress sought to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to detect, investigate and prosecute crimes against immigrants. In order to do this, Congress recognized that victim cooperation and assistance is often the key to effective detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes. Where the victims are immigrants, their immigration status in the United States can affect their ability to cooperate and assist in these efforts. Congress did this by amending certain sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to create the "U visa."
1) The non-citizen has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse
2) The non-citizen must possess specific facts regarding the criminal activity leading a certifying official to determine that the petitioner has, is, or is likely to provide assistance to the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity.
3) The non-citizen has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a certifying agency in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity
4) The qualifying criminal activity occurred in the United States
Application procedures for U nonimmigrant status:
1) Obtain Certification Form I-918 Supplement B
2) File the petition with:
i. Form I-918, Supplement B, "U Nonimmigrant Status Certification," signed by a certifying official within the six months immediately preceding the filing of Form I-918
ii. Any additional evidence that the petitioner wants USCIS to consider to establish that: the petitioner is a victim of qualifying criminal activity; the petitioner has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of qualifying criminal activity; the petitioner (or, in the case of a child under the age of 16 or petitioner who is incompetent or incapacitated, a parent, guardian or next friend of the petitioner) possesses information establishing that he or she has knowledge of the details concerning the qualifying criminal activity of which he or she was a victim and upon which his or her application is based; the petitioner
iii. A signed statement by the petitioner describing the facts of the victimization
iv. If the petitioner is inadmissible, Form I-192, "Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Non-Immigrant"
3) Biometric capture - you will be scheduled to go to an Application Support Center to fingerprinting and face identification photographing.
4) Decision from Vermont Service Center. The burden is determined to be on the petitioner to demonstrate eligibility for U-1 nonimmigrant status. Case is adjudicated by USCIS.
5) Notice of Approval of Form I-918 for U-1 petitioners outside the United States.
6) Employment authorization: An alien granted U-1 nonimmigrant status is employment authorized incident to status. USCIS automatically will issue an initial Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to such aliens who are in the United States. A petitioner for U-1 nonimmigrant status may apply for derivative U nonimmigrant status on behalf of qualifying family members by submitting a Form I-918, Supplement A, "Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient," for each family member either at the same time the petition for U-1 nonimmigrant status is filed, or at a later date
7) Permanent Residence: After 3 years of continuous presence in the United States (no departures lasting more than 90 days, and no aggregate days over 180) in U status, may apply for Permanent Residence.