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    Nationwide U Visa Lawyer

    Helping Victims of Violent Crimes Obtain Visas

    A U non-immigrant visa, also known as a U visa, is a legal immigrant status for victims of certain crimes. U visas allow victims without legal permanent residency to report criminal activity to law enforcement agencies. A U visa allows this report to happen without fear of deportation. A U visa also gives applicants benefits like eligibility for work authorization, eligibility to become a lawful permanent resident, and eligibility for family members to apply for the U visa.

    If you have been a victim of a crime or are suffering mental or physical abuse, you deserve to seek justice without living in fear because of your undocumented immigrant status. Immigration services can be confusing and complicated, which is why seeking the help of an experienced legal team is essential. If you would like to apply for a U visa and need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out today. Contact Elizabeth Rosario Law, PLC. by calling 616-530-0101

    What is a U Visa?

    A U visa is a special type of visa available to victims of certain crimes. The visa was created in 2000 to protect victims of human trafficking, sexual assault, physical abuse, and other similar crimes. The main goal of the U visa is to protect victims from deportation when they come forward and report a crime to law enforcement authorities.

    Many times, those in immigrant communities do not feel safe reporting crimes for fear of detainment or deportation. Many undocumented immigrants fear the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), leading to crimes going unreported and perpetrators going unpunished. With a U visa, individuals can approach law enforcement and seek justice for what they have gone through.

    The U visa application process is long and can be complicated, especially if you do not have extensive evidence of the crime committed against you. As with all immigration paperwork, filing your forms and applications correctly and without mistakes is essential. Contacting a U visa attorney on our team is the best way to ensure your application is filed quickly so you can get a U visa in a timely manner.

    Who is Eligible for a U Visa?

    U visa eligibility is dependent on numerous factors, the most crucial being that you are a victim of a crime. Below are the rest of the qualifications you must meet to be eligible for a U visa:

    • You are or were a victim of a qualifying crime as defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
    • You can provide information about the criminal activity
    • Your victimization involved physical or mental abuse
    • The crime occurred in the United States or violated United States law
    • You are willing to help law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime
    • You are admissible to the United States

    If you are under 16 years old, there are exceptions for providing information about the crime. A third party can inform officers about the crime on your behalf. If you have questions about your eligibility or would like to see if you are eligible for the U visa, contact our office today.

    What Are the Qualifying Criminal Activities for a U Visa?

    There are certain crimes that make victims eligible to apply for a U visa. While not all crimes are eligible, many of the crimes involving physical or mental abuse are.

    Below is a list of qualifying crimes for the U visa:

    • Abusive sexual contact
    • Abduction
    • Domestic violence
    • Extortion
    • False imprisonment
    • Kidnapping
    • Female genital mutilation
    • Involuntary servitude
    • Manslaughter
    • Murder
    • Perjury
    • Prostitution
    • Sexual assault
    • Rape
    • Sexual exploitation
    • Stalking
    • Torture
    • Unlawful criminal restraints
    • Other related crimes

    If your family member has been a victim of these crimes, you may also be eligible for a U visa. You must be willing to help law enforcement prosecute or investigate the crime. For more information, contact our office.

    How Do You Apply for a U Visa?

    To apply for a U visa, you must file Form I-918, the Petition for U non-immigrant status. When filling out this form, you must also declare that you have been or will be helping the U.S. government investigate or prosecute the crime you report. Your abuser does not have to be convicted, but you must be willing to help with any law enforcement proceedings.

    If you have inadmissibility issues, such as overstaying a visa, you must also file Form I-192, the Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Non-Immigrant. This acts as a waiver for inadmissibility. You must also submit a personal statement describing the criminal activity and how you were victimized, plus evidence of your eligibility for the U visa.

    If you are outside the United States, you can still file an application for a U visa. You will be required to submit Form I-918 and a personal statement, but you must also have your fingerprints taken at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

    How Can an Immigration Lawyer Assist Me?

    Getting a U visa can mean the difference between a criminal being prosecuted and a crime going unreported. The U visa provides protection from deportation and other penalties that many immigrant communities fear. However, getting a U visa application approved can be difficult, as filling out and filing immigration forms is often a long and arduous process.

    Working with an experienced team of immigration attorneys is the best way to ensure your application is submitted correctly and in a timely manner. At Elizabeth Rosario Law, PLC., we can help you gather your personal information and your eligibility requirements to prove that you qualify for a U visa. If you or a family member have been victims of a crime, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call us today at 616-530-0101 for assistance.