Individuals seeking to obtain a U-Visa should reach out to a seasoned attorney for guidance through the Lombard U-visa case process. While applicants may need to jump through numerous legal hurdles, a well-practiced attorney could provide the support and guidance they need.
Steps Involved In a U-Visa Case
The first step in a U-visa case is to obtain the law enforcement certification. Once this is completed, the individual has six months to apply for their U visa with USCIS. After the case is received by USCIS, they begin to process it on a first come, first served basis. The person goes to the end of the line for the visa application to be adjudicated.
After the officer looks at the application and sees the person has a prima facie case, it could be approved. People typically receive deferred action while they wait for their U visa that allows them to remain in the United States without worry of being removed. They may also apply for employment authorization under the deferred action. When an individual receives one of the 10,000 available U-visas, it is good for four years.
How to Expedite the U-Visa Action
The current backlog may lead a U visa case to last four to six years before completion. The backlog exists since there are only 10,000 U visa applications available per year. The cap on U-visas affects the timeline of the case. Anyone who qualifies for a U visa is put into the line to wait for visas to become available.
While each applicant for a U visa could make the request, most people wait and endure the processing time that is available. If someone has extenuating circumstances, it may be helpful to speak to a Lombard immigration attorney with experience in the U visa case process to see if options are available through other types of applications.
Risks of Deportation During the Case Process
An applicant is recommended to always speak to an attorney, notably when there are deportation proceedings. The attorney may be able to extend the deportation proceedings if they could show the person is an applicant waiting for a U visa. This is decided on a case-by-case basis.
A person could apply for cancellation of removal as a form of relief if they are going through deportation proceedings. An application for cancellation of removal is submitted during a hearing before an immigration judge.
A U-visa and a cancellation for removal are not mutually exclusive to obtain since one could have multiple applications at any time. It is to the individual’s benefit to sit down with an immigration attorney to develop the right strategy and determine the appropriate applications to make.
An individual could apply through for a U visa during removal proceedings through USCIS. Ideally, a judge grants the number of continuances to allow for the U visa application to process and adjudicate.
What Attorneys Look For in a U-Visa Case
One of the first things a lawyer determines in a U-visa case is whether the person was helpful in the investigation of the crime. They could establish whether the crime fits one of the qualifying criminal activities that potentially makes it approvable. The attorney could then identify what the survivor suffered physically or mentally following the specific crime. At that point, the attorney may examine the grounds of inadmissibility and take a very detailed look at the individual’s immigration history and any previous criminal activity.
The immigration lawyer typically seeks to identify any issues that could cause a problem down the road. Ideally, the attorney is involved in the case at the very beginning to decide whether the individual applies for the U visa. They may need to take action to collaterally fix something prior to applying.
At this time, the government does not give any prosecutorial discretion. For a U-visa, the government determines that the person established a prima facie case and meets all of the elements and requirements. In those cases, the government may provide deferred action as a form of prosecutorial discretion. Under other conditions, the government only gives discretion in very select cases.
Call a Diligent Lombard Attorney
Individuals going through the Lombard U visa case process may benefit from calling a hard-working attorney. A lawyer could walk a person through the case, strengthen their application, and see if there are opportunities to expedite the process. Call a lawyer today to begin and learn how to file for a U-visa.