A U-visa offers undocumented immigrants who are victims of a crime an opportunity to remain in the United States to assist with the prosecution of the offender. This visa exists to not only protect undocumented immigrants from serious criminal offenses, but also to support law enforcement by ensuring important witnesses or victims of crimes are not deported during the investigation.
If you are a victim of a criminal act, a skilled visa attorney could help you seek protection by obtaining a U-visa. If your application is accepted, you could assist in the efforts to prosecute the offender in your case without fear of deportation. The process of securing these visas is difficult, but an Aurora U-visa lawyer could guide you through each of the necessary steps.
Eligibility for U-Visas
The U-visa is one of the best options available to undocumented crime victims. However, these visas are only available under certain circumstances. An applicant for this type of protection must first prove that he or she has suffered physical or mental abuse from a criminal offense that happened in the United States.
It is not enough to be victimized in the United States. To obtain a U-visa, a person must also be prepared to take an active role in pursuing the criminal prosecution of the perpetrator of that crime. The applicant must have information that he or she can provide to law enforcement that is helpful in investigating or prosecuting the criminal act. Not only must the applicant possess information that is useful to the police, but he or she must also provide this information and assist in the prosecution or investigation of the crime. In some cases, this could involve testifying at trial.
One of the most important eligibility requirements for a U-visa is the criminal offense itself. Only certain offenses, known as qualifying crimes, could result in a viable U-visa application. These are typically serious offenses, although there is a broad range of criminal acts on the list. Some examples of qualifying crimes include:
- Domestic Violence
These examples make up only a small number of the criminal offenses that are considered qualifying under the law. In addition to the offenses themselves, attempting a one of these crimes or engaging in a conspiracy to commit one could also be considered a qualifying offense. A U-visa lawyer in Aurora could advise the victim of a crime of the offense perpetrated against them counts as a qualifying offense for a U-visa.
The Certification of Helpfulness
In addition to the Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, there is another important document needed to pursue a U-visa, the certification of helpfulness.
The certification of helpfulness is a document that supports an applicant’s claim that they will work with the police during the course of the investigation. Essentially, this document is evidence that the relevant law enforcement agency has vouched for the applicant and seeks their assistance. This certification can be executed by a police officer, prosecutor, or judge. Obtaining this certification is one of the ways an Aurora attorney could help with the U-visa application process.
Reach Out to an Aurora U-Visa Attorney as Soon as Possible
If you are the victim of a crime, you could have the option to assist in prosecuting the perpetrator, regardless of your immigration status. A U-visa could allow you to stay in the country and avoid deportation while helping to bring that perpetrator to justice.
Applying for a U-visa is not a simple process, but Aurora U-visa lawyer could offer valuable guidance. Call today to schedule a consultation.