The U visa is a United States non-immigrant visa which is set aside for victims of crimes (and their immediate family members) who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse while in the U.S. and who are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. It permits such victims to enter or remain in the US when they might not otherwise be able to do so.
There are six legal requirements for U non-immigrant status:
The applicant must have been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity.
The applicant must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of these criminal activities.
The applicant must have information concerning that criminal activity.
The applicant must have been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
The criminal activity occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
The applicant is admissible to the United States under current U.S. immigration laws and regulations; those who are not admissible may apply for a waiver.
U-Visa – Everything You Need to Know
Looking to stay in the the United States? Here’s everything you need to know about the U-Visa, from what it is to who is eligible. The U-Visa allows you to stay in the US for up to four years, and is renewable.
What is a U-Visa?
A U-Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows victims of certain crimes who have cooperated with law enforcement to remain in the United States for up to four years. The visa also provides work authorization and some other benefits.
Some of the benefits of having a U-visa include:
Being able to work in the United States
Being able to travel in and out of the United States
Protection from deportation
Access to certain government benefits, including
Who is eligible for a U-Visa?
To be eligible for a U-Visa, you must meet the following criteria:
You must have been the victim of a qualifying crime. Qualifying crimes include, but are not limited to, domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and kidnapping.
You must have cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of that crime.
As a result of your cooperation, you must have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse.
You need to supply law enforcement with a signed certification attesting to your helpfulness in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. This certification is also known as a Form I-918, Supplement B.
Who is not eligible for a U-Visa?
You are not eligible for a U-Visa if you have been convicted of a felony in the United States. You may also be ineligible if you have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, or if you are deemed to be a national security risk.
How do I apply for a U-Visa?
To apply for a U-Visa, you must submit the following to USCIS:
A completed Form I-918
A completed Supplement B to Form I-918
Two photographs of yourself
Evidence of your helpfulness in the investigation or prosecution of a crime, as well as evidence of the abuse you suffered
A $460 filing fee
You may also need to submit additional documents, depending on your individual circumstances.
What happens after I apply for a U-Visa?
Once you have submitted your application, USCIS will review it to ensure that you have met all the eligibility requirements. If they need more information from you, they will request it.
Once your application is complete, it will be sent to the National Visa Center for processing. You will be notified when your visa is ready, and you will need to attend an interview at the US embassy or consulate in your home country.
At the interview, you will need to provide evidence that you meet all the eligibility requirements for a U-Visa.
You will also need to submit your biometrics, which include your fingerprints and a photo.
Applying for a visa can be a complicated process, but we hope that this explanation has made it a little bit easier for you. If you need a Psychological Report for your U-Visa, get in contact with Claudia Ribas (914) 261-0596