Gaining residency in the United States is no easy task to do. Many people are familiar with visas and green cards as a way to get into the United States legally. Visas are short-term grants and green cards are permanent residency grants. However, most have never heard about a U-Visa unless they were involved in some sort of crime.
What Is A U-Visa?
The U-Visa is issued to only a select group of people. These individuals must have been a victim of a crime that happened in the United States. The victim must have suffered physically or mentally from the crime that was committed. When they cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation and prosecution of those involved in the crime, they are considered eligible for a U-Visa.
How Long Is The U-Visa For?
As you learned above, a visa is a short-term grant for residency in the United States. A U-Visa can last for a total period of four years. After the initial three years of residency, the individual can apply for a green card which would give them permanent residency to the United States. An immigration visas attorney can help these individuals to apply.
Can An Immigrant Who Committed A Crime Get A U-Visa?
This answer really depends on the case that a u visa attorney Pasadena supplies. In the event the immigrant’s criminal activity was minimal and their help for law enforcement was extraordinary, they can still be granted a U-Visa. This really goes case by case and will depend on the extent of how helpful the immigrant is in the prosecution and investigation of the crime they suffered from. Some of the crimes that can be accepted are blackmail, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, kidnapping, and rape.
Can Family Members Of A U-Visa Holder Get One?
An immigrant visa lawyer Pasadena can help those family members of a U-Visa holder get access to their own visa cards. Petitioning with a Pasadena immigration attorney is possible for qualifying family members. The age of the immigrant holding the U-Visa will determine which family members they can petition for. Those over 21 years of age may only petition for their spouse and children to get visas. Those under the age of 21 years old can petition for parents, spouse, children, and any unmarried siblings who are under the age of 18 years old.