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U Visas for Victims of Criminal Activity

Obtaining a U Visa As the Victim of a Violent Crime

A U-Visa allows for an illegal immigrant who was the victim of a crime in the United States to assist law enforcement in bringing the perpetrator to justice while protecting his or her ability to remain in the U.S. free from deportation. If you have been victimized by someone, contact a Dallas immigration attorney for the professional assistance you need to pursue legal status with a victim's visa.

Eligibility Requirements for a U-Visa

There are six requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a U-visa:

  • The applicant was a victim of a qualifying crime
  • The applicant suffered physical or mental abuse as a result of a qualifying crime
  • The victim can provide information regarding the criminal activity
  • The crime occurred in the U.S. or violated U.S. laws
  • The victim must aid and provide information during the investigation and prosecution of the crime
  • Under current U.S. immigration laws and regulations, the applicant is admissible to the U.S. If they are not admissible, they may apply for a waiver (Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant)

What Constitutes Qualifying Criminal Activity?

The main requirement for obtaining a U-visa is that the person actively assists law enforcement during the investigation and prosecution of the guilty party. A U-visa will be valid for four years, after which time it can lead to permanent residency.

Some of the crimes that qualify for U-visa application include:

  • Abduction
  • Abusive Sexual Contact
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extortion
  • False Imprisonment
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Felonious Assault
  • Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
  • Hostage
  • Incest
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Slave Trade
  • Stalking
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Witness Tampering
  • Unlawful Criminal Restraint
  • Other Related Crimes (including attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of any of these crimes, or similar activity where the elements of the crime are very similar)

Certification of Helpfulness

When an applicant petitions for U nonimmigrant status, they have to fill out a certification of helpfulness in the form of a U Nonimmigrant Status Certification (Form I-918, Supplement B). You can obtain one of these forms from a certifying law enforcement agency.

This form denotes that the applicant has been, is willing to be, or is likely to be helpful in providing information regarding the investigation or prosecution of the crime. Certifying law enforcement agencies where a U visa application can be found include all State, Federal or local law enforcement agencies, judges, prosecutors, child protective services, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor.

VAWA – Visas for Victims of Domestic Violence

Congress has realized that domestic violence is a problem in the immigration setting. A spouse may be subject to domestic violence or emotional abuse but be hesitant to report such crimes for fear of immigration consequences. This scenario most often arises when the spouse is acting as the sponsor of the foreign individual. These types of abuse have resulted in special laws such as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

These laws are designed to protect women, men and children from the aggressive acts of family members. Our firm is very proud to participate in assisting victims of domestic violence obtain lawful status in the United States in accordance with these laws.

Protection Against Abuse and Assault

Many illegal aliens are commonly victimized by certain criminals who are aware of their legal status and take advantage of the fact that many illegal aliens won't report a crime for fear of deportation. With a U-visa, an illegal can now safely report the crime without worry of being deported and losing his or her family and employment.

The U-visa is beneficial to not just the victims of violent crimes, but also to the witnesses of crimes. At the Mathur Law Offices, P.C., we have helped many individuals with their immigration and visa needs and we would love the opportunity to assist you as well.

If you were the victim of a crime and you are living in the U.S. illegally, contact our Dallas immigration office to discuss the possibility of a U-Visa.

What to Expect From Mathur Law Offices, P.C.

  • A legal team with a wide breadth of legal knowledge
  • An emphasis on making your needs our top priority
  • Personalized, unwavering commitment to you
  • A team with unmatched experience and versatility
  • Compassionate and genuine service

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