A U visa is a nonimmigrant visa that provides relief to victims of certain crimes by granting them temporary legal status and work authorization in the United States for four years.
You may qualify for a U visa if you are a victim of a qualifying crime, have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse, have information about the criminal activity, and help law enforcement or government officials investigate or prosecute the criminal activity.
Qualifying crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Domestic Violence
- Sexual Assault
You must also obtain certification from the law enforcement authorities in the jurisdiction where the criminal activity occurred. Procedures for certification vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. A U visa application can be made as an affirmative filing, and may be filed if you are in removal proceedings. Only 10,000 U visas are granted every year. Once the cap has been reached, eligible applicants are placed on a waiting list and given protection against deportation and work authorization while waiting for a U visa to become available.
Because you must prove the qualifying factors with documentary evidence in addition to obtaining proper certification from law enforcement to qualify for a U visa, please contact a skilled immigration attorney for further details if you think you may be eligible for a U visa.