When a non-citizen who lives in the United States is the victim of a crime, they may be afraid to come forward and report the crime for fear of deportation. However, following the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, these people have the option to report the crime, assist law enforcement in prosecuting criminals, and obtain a visa which will allow them to remain in the United States.
U Nonimmigrant Visas
A person is eligible to apply for a U visa if they meet the following requirements:
- They have been the victim of certain qualifying crimes, including domestic violence, false imprisonment, extortion, sexual assault, stalking, trafficking, and unlawful criminal restraint, which occurred in the U.S. or violated United States laws.
- They suffered “substantial physical or mental abuse” as a result of the crime.
- They can provide information about the crime to law enforcement and are willing to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.
- They meet the requirements for admissibility to the U.S.
A person can apply for a U visa by filing Form I-918 (Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status), along with Form I-918, Supplement B (U Nonimmigrant Status Certification). They must also submit a statement describing the crime committed against them. If they are inadmissible to the United States, they may request a waiver of inadmissibility by filing Form I-192 (Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant).
After receiving a U visa, a person may also apply for derivative U visas for their family members by filing Form I-918, Supplement A (Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient). A petitioner who is under the age of 21 may petition on behalf of their spouse, children, parents, and unmarried brothers or sisters under the age of 18. A petitioner who is over the age of 21 may petition on behalf of their spouse and children.
A U visa will be valid for four years, but it may be extended because of requests from law enforcement, delays in processing, or exceptional circumstances. A person with U nonimmigrant status may apply to adjust their status to permanent resident and receive a Green Card if they have been in the U.S. for three continuous years and they have provided requested assistance to law enforcement.
Contact a DuPage County Immigration Lawyer
If you are a victim of a crime in the United States and are worried about your immigration status, you should not be afraid to come forward and receive the help you need. The experienced, compassionate attorneys of Khan Nayyar & Associates, LLC can help you understand your rights, assist with filing the correct forms, and provide you with the guidance you need throughout the immigration process. Call 630-LAWYERS today to speak with an Contact us.