U-Visas for Victims of Crime
The U-Visa is a nonimmigrant status for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and have been helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa (U-Visas for Victims of Crime) with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes. To be eligible for U-Visas for Victims of Crime you must meet the following prong tests:
- You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity.
- You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.
- You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess 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. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist 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.
The process of obtaining U nonimmigrant status is complex and time-consuming. We are available throughout the length of the application process to answer your questions about U-Visas for Victims of Crime and allay any concerns.