Victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and can help law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity may be eligible for a temporary U visa. U visas strengthen law enforcement’s abilities to prosecute certain crimes while also protecting the victims of those crimes who are willing to help law enforcement agencies detect, deter, and punish such criminal activity.
Some examples of qualifying crimes for U visas include human trafficking, domestic violence, kidnapping, extortion, and felonious assault, although you can see the full list of qualifying crimes below. To apply for a temporary U nonimmigrant visa, victims must file Form I-918 and may include qualifying family members in the application as well. U visas are valid for 4 years and are subject to extensions in limited circumstances, such as if the extension is:
- Needed based on a request from law enforcement
- Needed based on exceptional circumstances
- Needed due to delays in consular processing
- Automatically extended upon the filing and pendency of an application for adjustment (application for a Green Card)
If you are a crime victim who is interested in applying for a U visa, get in touch with LORIC Law Firm online or at (650) 590-8258 to learn if you are eligible. Our Cupertino U Visa attorney is ready to help!
U Visa Eligibility
Even if you are the victim of a qualifying crime and may be helpful to law enforcement, you must meet other criteria to qualify for a U visa. See the following eligibility requirements for a U visa to learn more:
- You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity (see below).
- You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a victim of criminal activity.
- You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may gather the information about the crime on your behalf.
- You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. Again, if you are under 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may help law enforcement on your behalf.
- The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
- You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.
Qualifying Criminal Activities for a U Visa
As we mentioned before, you must be a victim of a certain crime in order to be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa. If you are a victim of a nonqualifying crime, a temporary U visa may not be available to you. That being said, the full list of qualifying crimes for a U visa is below:
- Abusive Sexual Contact
- Domestic Violence
- False Imprisonment
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Felonious Assault
- Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
- Involuntary Servitude
- Obstruction of Justice
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Exploitation
- Slave Trade
- Witness Tampering
- Unlawful Criminal Restraint
- Other Related Crimes
How to Apply for a U Visa
Individual crime victims may file for themselves and their qualifying family members. It is always beneficial to retain a U visa lawyer to help with the application process because there is a substantial amount of paperwork involved, which you’ll see below. To petition for a U nonimmigrant status in the US as an individual, you must submit the following forms:
- Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status
- Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification, which must be signed by an authorized official of the certifying law enforcement agency
- Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant ONLY if you are facing inadmissibility issues
- A personal statement describing the crime you were a victim of
If you have certain nonqualifying family members who are eligible for a U visa based on their relationship to you, the “principal,” then you must first wait until your petition is approved before your family members can be eligible. Once approved, you must file Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient. If you are under 21, you can petition on behalf of your spouse, children, parents, and unmarried siblings if they’re under 18. If you are 21 or older, you can only petition for your spouse and children.
Navigate the Process with a Compassionate Lawyer
Our Cupertino U visa lawyer has over 10 years of experience helping people in your shoes receive temporary immigrant status with a U visa. We are sensitive to your situation and understand that you may be overwhelmed, but our job is to make the legal process as effortless as possible for you. Allow us to help you and your qualifying family members work towards obtaining a U visa today.
To schedule a confidential consultation, we welcome you to contact us at (650) 590-8258. Proudly serving the Bay Area!
Honest & StraightforwardEspecially when dealing with complex immigration issues, it is critical to have an attorney who will clearly communicate with you through the entire process. This is why we prioritize honesty and direct communication with each of our clients.
Flexible Payment PlansWe recognize the need for flexibility with payment plans, so we will work with you to find a payment strategy that works best for you in this season of your life.
Empathetic & ProfessionalComing from a family of immigrants, Attorney Canido has a unique, empathetic perspective that aids his approach with his clients.
Over a Decade of Legal ExperienceAttorney Rodrigo Canido has dedicated his career to resolving his clients' immigration matters for over 10 years. From working at prominent law firms to opening his own practice, Attorney Canido fights for his clients.