How a Visa Attorney For Victims of Crimes in LA Can Help Protect You
Protections for Victims of Certain Crimes and Domestic Violence
In the United States, if an immigrant is a victim of certain types of crimes, they may be able to obtain a protective status and ultimately qualify for their lawful permanent residency. This is called a U Visa. This visa was designed to give relief to victims of crimes, which include assault, sexual abuse, kidnapping, extortion, and domestic violence among others. Applying for a U-Visa is a very complex process, and it is important that you understand the steps involved. In order to qualify, a person must show that they are the victim of qualifying criminal activity and that they have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of that criminal activity.
Who is Eligible for a U-Visa?
In 2000, the Act for Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection introduced two visas: U-Visa to cater for immigrants who had been subjected to serious crimes and the T-Visa to cater for immigrants who had been subjected to human trafficking.
To qualify for a U-Visa, you will need to prove that you are a victim of a crime. Immigrants are required to present a certificate of helpfulness to prove they have been subjected to major crime. Here is what will need to be proven in order for you to be eligible for a U-Visa:
- Be a victim of a crime that was committed in America or that violated American law
- Show proof of abuse
- Hold key information regarding the crime
- Be valuable to the law enforcement agencies finding the criminal
- If you meet the above criteria, you will be eligible to fill the Form-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter the U.S. as a Non-immigrant. Your immigrant visa lawyer Pasadena will advise you on how to meet the requirements for a certificate of helpfulness. This will grant you U visa status.
T-Visa Against Human Trafficking
The T-Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the U.S. to victims of human trafficking. Adults and children may be eligible to obtain a T-Visa to protect them from their abusers. The T-Visa offers survivors of human trafficking many benefits, including the following:
- Legal immigration status for four years
- Four years of authorization for employment
- The chance to apply for legal permanent residency by meeting certain criteria
- Federal refugee benefits such as cash assistance, job training and food stamps
- Public benefits in some states
- The opportunity to petition for T-Visas for some family members in the U.S. or abroad
Can I Travel Outside of the U.S. With a U-Visa?
If you have applied for a U-Visa or have been granted a U-Visa, then you may have wondered if you are allowed to travel outside of the United States. It is very difficult to travel outside of the U.S. if your U-Visa is pending or if you have been granted a U-Visa. It is important that you consult with an immigrant visa lawyer Pasadena so you do not jeopardize your U-Visa status.
How a U-Visa Can Protect Workers
The U-Visa was implemented to protect immigrants workers who have been abused or have become victims of some type of criminal activity. In fact, unions and other workers have witnessed employer exploitation and abuse of immigrants in the workplace. This type of behavior may violate certain agreements, wage and hour laws, equal employment protections, or the right of workers to engage in protected concerted activity. Sometimes this type of behavior may even result in criminal activity. Depending on the criminal activity that a victim has faced, he or she may be eligible to be protected.
How to Apply For U-Visa
Once you have determined that you are eligible for a U-Visa in the U.S., you must take the following steps in filling out and submitting the necessary documents to apply for a U-Visa.
- Prepare the USCIS Form-I-918, which is the Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status.
- Obtain certification of helpfulness from a qualifying agency for the I-918 petition.
- Gather evidence that confirms your claims of injury, which will determine your eligibility.
- Contact an experienced immigration lawyer in Los Angeles.
In addition, it is important to refer to our checklist when applying for a U-Visa.
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (VAWA)
An abused immigrant spouse and children may also qualify for protections under VAWA. This visa allows them to self-petition to get legal status in the U.S. It will allow these victims of domestic violence to get jobs and health benefits. Protections under VAWA open the door for victims of domestic abuse to escape their relationships and regain normalcy by living a safe life free from abuse.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime, please contact Alami Law. Our immigration lawyers are experienced and have the dedication necessary to help you with your case.
VAWA Green Card For Abused Men
Are you a person who has suffered severe abuse from a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States? If you are still without a visa, you may be able to apply for a confidential VAWA card. VAWA stands for the Violence Against Women Act. It was designed to protect women who were being abused or exploited by their spouses in cases where their immigrant status was a factor in their abuse. However, men who are being abused can also have positive recourse to this legislation.
If you are the victim of a serious violent crime like kidnapping, sexual abuse, fraud, or stalking, you may qualify for a U visa. A U visa is granted to those survivors of violent crimes who help law enforcement in the investigation of the perpetrators. The process if lengthy and subject to case-by-case approval, so you should read our checklist for applying above.
VAWA protects women and children who are non-citizens. If you are a victim of certain kinds of abuse, it may actually help your legal status in the country if you have proof. Always reach out to an immigration attorney before telling law enforcement officials because they will scrutinize your legal status. To learn what qualifies as a violent act, click the link above.
Obtaining a U visa gives you the option to apply for a green card further down the line. You can apply as long as you continued to help law enforcement find and convict your perpetrator and if you’ve been living in the U.S.
A U visa is granted to immigrant victims of violent crimes who are helpful to law enforcement in a criminal investigation or prosecution. Not all crimes qualify for U visa application, and you must show the courts that you have suffered either physically or emotionally as the result.
The sad truth is that many employers use immigrants’ legal status as an excuse to mistreat them since they are unlikely to report it to authorities. If your employer treated you cruelly, you may qualify for a U Visa. You can also get one if you witness your employer commit a crime such as trafficking, blackmail, or sexual abuse.