The U Visa was created by Congress, in the year 2000, to encourage immigrant victims of crime to come forward, to report crimes without fear of deportation. The U Visa gives the recipient a permit to work and live legally in the United States for up to four years. This Visa is available to victims of crime who have reported the crime and have assisted police and/or prosecutors in the investigation or prosecution of a crime. The Visa provides legal status for up to four years, but after having the Visa for three years, between the third and fourth year, most recipients are eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status, or a Green Card.
Victims of violent crimes are eligible for a U Visa. Those who have suffered minor crimes typically are not eligible. The qualifying crimes for U Visa include such crimes as domestic violence, rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and similar crimes. Petty crimes such as stealing a wallet or having your car burglarized typically don’t qualify for a U Visa. Those victims who have assisted police or prosecutors in the investigation or prosecution of the crime must get a certification from that law enforcement agency in order to be eligible for a U Visa. So if you’ve been a victim of a crime but didn’t report it, unfortunately, you won’t be eligible for a U Visa. U Visas can also include spouses, minor children, and sometimes parents and siblings of the victim who has cooperated with police. If you’re a victim of a crime, please don’t hesitate to call the police. Everyone in the United States has rights to protection from violence and assistance from the police, regardless of immigration status. With that, I’ll sign off. Thank you so much and let us know if we can help with your case.