Qualifications 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. The lawmakers passed these visas owing to the high public safety concerns. It was also observed that hosting immigrant victims would help law enforcement agencies apprehend and prosecute criminal offenders. When a person is approved to get a U visa, they are given legal permission to live in the U.S. for four years. After three years, one may qualify to apply for permanent residence. You might need a immigrant visa lawyer Los Angeles to help you get through the process. Here is a look at who is eligible for a U Visa:
To qualify for a U Visa, you 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. You also need to show you have suffered emotional or physical abuse as a result of the crime. If you were previously deemed to be inadmissible for a U Visa, you need to seek for a waiver to overrule the earlier judgment. A Los Angeles immigration attorney will help you apply for a waiver and get approved for a visa.
To be eligible for a certificate of helpfulness, you should:
- 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
- Provided 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 Los Angeles will advise you on how to meet the requirements for a certificate of helpfulness. This will grant you U visa status.
The major requirement for you to get a certificate of helpfulness is to prove serious physical or mental abuse. You will need to show legal documents and medical records to support your claim to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS will look into three factors before determining whether your suffering was significant enough to warrant a U visa. An immigration visas attorney will play a crucial role in helping applicants meet these standards. These are:
- Length of time you have suffered
- The amount of suffering
- The potential for facing permanent damage
- Children who are under 16 years old cannot qualify for this certificate. The onus is on their friend, guardian, or parent. These persons will provide information regarding the crime and are known as helpful applicants.
What Crimes Qualify Victims for a U Visa
Some common examples of crimes that qualify for a U Visa are as follows:
Violent crimes: stalking, manslaughter, murder, robbery, vehicular homicide, felonious assault and domestic violence
Enslavement crimes: kidnapping, criminal restraint, abduction, slavery, being held hostage, human trafficking, false imprisonment, and debt servitude
Sexual crimes: incest, sexual assault, sexual trafficking, rape, prostitution, female genital mutilation, abusive sexual contact, and sexual exploitation
Crimes for obstruction of justice: They include foreign labor contracting fraud, witholding evidence, witness tampering, and perjury
A crime should not be executed for it to qualify. Any solicitation, attempt, or conspiracy to execute any of the above mentioned crimes is normally enough. For example, victims of attempted murder qualify to apply for a U visa though the act of murder was not completed. An immigration visas attorney will help prove the above crimes when applying for your visa.
What is the Process for Getting a U Visa?
A u visa attorney Los Angeles will help speed up the application of your visa. Some people wait up to five years before they get their U visa application approved. The government can only grant 10,000 U visas every year. However, the USCIS still accepts application even after reaching the limit, but they cannot issue visas after they reach the limit. The government will place an approvable application note to show that one’s application has been approved but is on a wait list. This is status is known as deferred action.
People who qualify for the deferred action status are only allowed to apply for work permits that are eligible for two years. These permits can be renewed if there are delays with the visa application.
Your u visa attorney Los Angeles will help you to:
Fill out a Form I-918. This form provides biological information regarding the proof of eligibility, the worker, and the family workers
Fill out Form I-918 (Supplement A). This form is optional. It is filled by applicants who are petitioning on behalf of family members. The applicant should fill one form per family member
Fill out Form I-918 (Supplement B). This form is mandatory. This is a status certificate showing that the applicant is eligible as a crime victim
Hand in supplemental evidence. It is also crucial that the applicant write a personal statement talking about the crimes they witnessed and the injuries they sustained. Evidence that supports their assertions will be crucial to the application.
Some of the admissible evidence that your Los Angeles immigration attorney will help you turn in includes:
- Police reports
- Doctors’ reports
- Court documents
- Therapy session notes
- Psychiatric evaluations