Immigration Lawyer / Immigration Attorney

Phone

(206) 488-9030

Introduction

If you have been the victim of a qualifying crime, have cooperated with law enforcement, and have suffered harm as a result of the crime, you may be eligible for a U Visa. Additionally, you may be able to include your family member in your U Visa application even if your family member was not a victim of the crime.

Victim of Crime

You must have been a victim of a qualifying crime. Examples of qualifying crimes are domestic violence, felony assault, or sex abuse. The full list is printed below. If your crime is not listed below, you may still be eligible if you have been the victim of a similar crime.

“rape; torture; trafficking; incest; domestic violence; sexual assault; abusive sexual contact; prostitution; sexual exploitation; stalking; female genital mutilation; being held hostage; peonage; involuntary servitude; slave trade; kidnapping; abduction; unlawful criminal restraint; false imprisonment; blackmail; extortion; manslaughter; murder; felonious assault; witness tampering; obstruction of justice; perjury; fraud in foreign labor contracting.” Section 101(a)(15)(U) of the Immigration and Nationality Act

Cooperation with Law Enforcement

You must have cooperated with the investigation or prosecution of the crime. One example of cooperation with investigation is agreeing to answer police officers’ questions at the scene of the crime. Another example of cooperation is staying in contact with the prosecuting attorney and testifying in court. There are many other ways to cooperate with police and the prosecution including but not limited to calling 911, identifying suspects, or giving a written or recorded statement.

Mental or Physical Harm

You must have suffered harm as a result of the criminal activity. The harm that you suffer can be physical or mental.

  • Physical harm can be any type of harm or injury that has been documented by a police officer or medical professional such as x-ray’s, photographs of injuries or medical records indicating that injuries were treated as a result of the qualifying crime.
  • Mental harm includes emotional or psychological changes as a result of the crime. This can include being diagnosed with a mental disorder by a mental health provider or exhibiting symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) such as increased fear, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression or self-harming behaviors.

Process and Filing Fees

The first step in the U-Visa process is to gather police reports, court records medical records, and mental health records relating to the crime and your victimization to prepare the Form I-918. You must also send the Form I-918 supplemental B to a law enforcement agency for signature. If the law enforcement agency signs the Form I-918 Supplement B, then you will need to send the Form I-918, Form I-918 Supplement B, Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (if you are seeking a work permit) to USCIS along with any other forms that you may need depending on your immigration history.

Form I-918 Petition – Free

Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization – Free

I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant – $585 (this form is ONLY required for Form I-918 U Visa petitioners who are inadmissible). Note – you may request that the fee be waived.

If you have been the victim of a crime, you may be eligible for a U Visa. A U Visa often gives you work authorization, and after some time may convert into lawful permanent residence.

Also, you may be eligible for a U Visa even if you have been previously removed from the United States, or have been convicted of a crime yourself. A U Visa is an excellent option for those who are in removal proceedings and want to challenge their removal or deportation, or those who are not in removal proceedings and want to obtain lawful status, work authorization and bring their family to the United States.

Conclusion

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a crime, you may be eligible for a U Visa. Call my office today to discuss your U-Visa application.