If you were victimized by crime, you may be eligible for a U visa to remain in the United States legally. Although this is a temporary visa and does not immediately grant immigrant status, if an individual in Bolingbrook holds a U visa for a sufficient time and complies with all requirements, he or she may be able to receive a green card.
Because many people seek U visas, it is important to ensure that you fully demonstrate your qualifications. A knowledgeable Bolingbrook U Visa lawyer could help with the application process or assist if you have already applied but encountered delays or other problems. Working with an experienced immigration lawyer could help you be sure to comply with all requirements and could increase your ability to achieve success with minimal delays.
Eligibility for a U Visa
U visas are designed to serve specific purposes deterring crime, encouraging the reporting of crime, and increasing the effectiveness of investigating crime in immigrant populations. Before the creation of U visas, crime victims often refused to report incidents against themselves for fear of deportation.
Because of the role U visas are expected to play in law enforcement, applicants must prove that they:
- Are the victim of “qualifying” criminal activity
- Were victimized by criminal activity that violated U.S. laws or occurred in the U.S.
- Suffered substantial abuse (physical or mental) because of criminal activity
- Have information about the crimes at issue
- Are or have the potential to be helpful toward investigation or prosecution of the crimes
In addition, an applicant must be admissible to the U.S. or must apply for a waiver. A Bolingbrook U visa attorney could help an applicant demonstrate that he or she meets qualifications Many violent criminal activities are included on the eligibility list, including domestic violence, assault, and stalking. Other crimes such as perjury, extortion, and involuntary servitude are also included.
Applying for a U Visa
The process of applying for a U visa varies depending on whether the applicant is already in the U.S. or is seeking a visa from abroad. For those in Bolingbrook or elsewhere in the U.S., the applicant will need to submit a Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, as well as Supplement B for Form I-918. This supplement is essential because it confirms that the applicant assisted or is likely to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. An authorized official from the law enforcement agency must sign this form.
In addition to the forms described, the applicant must submit a statement describing the crime. A U visa lawyer in Bolingbrook could assist with the preparation of a statement and acquiring and submitting the evidence needed to establish all eligibility requirements.
Once an applicant receives U nonimmigrant status, the visa is good for four years. The applicant may qualify for an extension. Alternatively, someone who has been in the U.S. for three or more years on a U visa may apply for a green card.
Help from a Bolingbrook U Visa Attorney
Gaining a U visa can provide protection and a host of opportunities for you and your family. However, it can be challenging to obtain the certifications needed, especially if the criminal activity in the case is complex and involves more than one law enforcement agency.
A Bolingbrook U visa lawyer could help demonstrate your qualifications and fight to protect your rights. Call now to learn more about how an immigration attorney could help you acquire the protection of U status.