What is a U-Visa and How Do I Know if I Qualify to Apply?

The U nonimmigrant visa, or U-Visa, was created by Congress in 2000 as a way to help victims of certain crimes that were committed in the United States. In order to qualify to apply for a U-Visa, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says that you must meet the criteria listed below:

 

  1. You are the victim of a qualifying crime.

What types of crimes does the USCIS recognize as qualifying criminal activity? Some of the crimes that permit you to apply for a U-Visa include:

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Stalking
  • Extortion
  • Domestic violence
  • Blackmail
  • Rape
  • Perjury
  • Murder
  • Trafficking
  • False imprisonment

You can also view a list of the other qualifying crimes by clicking here or contacting our firm to speak with an immigration attorney in Atlanta, GA

  1. You are a victim of physical or mental abuse as a result of criminal activity; and
  2. You have information regarding certain criminal activity; and

Those who are under the age of 16 and cannot provide information “due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may [provide] the information about the crime on your behalf.”

  1. You were, are, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement officials in the investigation or prosecution of a crime; and

In the event an individual is under the age 16 or is unable to provide the information due to a disability, he or she may have a parent, guardian, or next friend assist officials on their behalf.

  1. The crime occurred in the U.S. or was in violation of U.S. laws; and
  2. You are admissible to the United States.

USCIS says that if you are not admissible, you can apply for a waiver by submitting Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.

 

It is important to note that not all applicants will receive their U-Visa, if you want to increase your chances of USCIS approving your case, you should have an immigration attorney assisting you with the filing process.

 

Also, the processing times for U visas is exceptionally long, and it may take more than 15 years to actually receive the U visa.  Proper planning and an understanding of the process is essential to setting your expectations and understanding the benefits of this visa.

 

 

How can Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC help you?

Anytime an individual is looking to obtain a visa, green card, or needs to renew the current visa they have, they are always encouraged to retain an experienced lawyer who can help them. The fact is, if you make a mistake on one or more forms, it can delay the process,  and USCIS may even reject your application rather than have you correct the mistake and resubmit it. To prevent this from happening, have an immigration attorney help you complete and file all the required forms and required supporting documents so that you can receive a new or renewed visa in a timely manner.

The GA immigration attorneys at our firm not only have experience with handling matters pertaining to visas and green cards, but we can assist you with several other types of immigration-related matters. So, to learn more about our firm and how we tailor our services to meet your needs, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.

 

 

Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC can be reached at:

 

365 Northridge Road, Suite 300

Atlanta, GA 30350

Phone: 404-816-8611

Website: www.immigration.net