If you are a noncitizen and you have been the victim of a crime in the United States, you may be eligible to apply for a U-visa. However, the process to obtain this kind of visa is complex, and you may need a Naperville U-visa lawyer to address your questions and concerns. Fortunately, an experienced visa attorney could help you understand your legal rights and ensure that your application proceeds as smoothly as possible.
What is a U-visa?
U-visas were created by Congress under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in 2000 to help law enforcement agencies investigate human trafficking, sexual assault and domestic violence. This law is meant to protect victims of such crimes who have also suffered significant physical or mental abuse.
Qualifying for a U-visa
You may qualify for a U-visa if you meet the following requirements:
- You have been the victim of certain types of crimes
- As a result of these crimes, you suffered substantial physical or mental abuse
- You have or are able to provide information about the criminal activity. If you are 16 or younger or unable to provide information due to a disability, someone else could provide information about the crime on your behalf
- You assisted or helped law enforcement during the investigation
- You are otherwise able to be admitted to the United States or can apply for a waiver
In addition, the crime must have either happened in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
A person who has been the victim of a serious crimes may qualify for a U-visa. These crimes include:
- Abduction, false imprisonment, or kidnapping
- Abusive sexual contact, rape, incest, or sexual assault
- Domestic Violence
- Extortion or blackmail
- Female genital mutilation
- Manslaughter or murder
- Obstruction of Justice, witness tampering, or perjury
- Prostitution or sexual exploitation
Other crimes may make an individual qualify for this protection, and it may be important to consult with a Naperville U-visa lawyer if an applicant is unsure of their eligibility.
Applying for a U-Visa
The process of applying for a U-visa first requires a person to file a petition using Form I-918 for U Nonimmigrant Status. In addition, an applicant will need to submit U Nonimmigrant Status Certification using Form I-918, Supplement B. In this form, an applicant must also obtain the signature of an authorized official from the appropriate law enforcement agency confirming that he or she assisted and/or are continuing to assist in the prosecution of the qualifying crime.
Further, an applicant will need to submit a description of the criminal activity along with evidence supporting his or her description using specific forms.
If an applicant is not able to be admitted to the United States for some reason, he or she will also need to file a waiver of inadmissibility using Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant.
Someone currently outside of the country will need to file his or her forms with the Vermont Service Center. The Vermont Service Center will then send additional instructions.
Get in Touch with a Naperville U-Visa Lawyer Immediately
Applying for a U-visa might be daunting, especially if you have been the victim of a crime and are cooperating with law enforcement in the prosecution of that crime. If you are in the Unites States or are hoping to become a resident, consider contacting a Naperville U-visa lawyer early in this application process.
An experienced immigration lawyer will be in your corner during this process and could ensure you meet all the requirements for a U-visa. They could help you complete the necessary paperwork and make sure that it is submitted to the correct place. Contact us today to set up a consultation.