U visas can be vital lifelines for non-citizens to remain lawfully in the United States after being harmed by criminal activity or abuse. However, these visas are in high demand, and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services only issues a limited number each year. Applying with as much supporting evidence and accurate information as possible can be crucial to obtaining this visa.
Understanding the Wheaton U-visa case process and steps can be a beneficial first step towards achieving the best possible resolution. Guidance from a knowledgeable U-Visa attorney could give you a leg up over other applicants, which could end up making the difference between getting a visa and waiting for years without your future being secure.
Important Steps in the U Visa Case Process
The U-visa case process in Wheaton begins with completing and filing Form I-918 with the USCIS Vermont Service Center. In addition to this form, other necessary documents to submit with a complete application include:
- Supplement A of Form I-918 for each qualifying family member of the applicant looking to receive a derivative U-visa
- Supplement B of Form I-918, signed by an authorized law enforcement official affirming that the applicant either has already helped, is currently helping, or will likely help in the future with a criminal investigation
- Evidence establishing eligibility for a U-visa
- A personal statement about the harm and or abuse the applicant experienced through someone else’s criminal activity
- Form I-192, if the applicant is inadmissible to the United States for any reason
After processing the initial petition, the Vermont Service Center will instruct the applicant to go to his or her nearest U.S. Embassy and Consulate for fingerprinting and other actions as part of the standard consular process for entering the U.S. from abroad. Upon completing all associated procedures USCIS will grant a U-visa to a qualifying applicant.
Can Someone Be Deported with a Pending U Visa Application?
Importantly, recent changes to the U visa case process have provided protections from deportation for Wheaton applicants while their cases are ongoing. The Department of Homeland Security may declare a U visa application to be “bona fide” if an initial review of the petition has all necessary documentation, is free of procedural errors, and a background check indicates that the applicant poses no threat to public safety or national security.
A “bona fide” designation grants a U-visa applicant deferred action on deportation until his or her petition’s final verdict. He or she can apply for up to four years of work authorization in the meantime. However, the DHS can reverse this designation if they find cause. An application designation as “bona fide” does not guarantee its eventual approval.
Learn More About the Wheaton U Visa Case Process from an Attorney
Due to the massive backlog of U-visa applications that USCIS is currently sorting, getting a U-visa can take over five years following the initial filing date. Any errors during the Wheaton U-visa case process could lead to even longer delays and, more importantly, could keep an applicant from getting a “bona fide” designation that may be crucial to avoiding deportation while waiting for a final verdict.
Our capable legal team’s guidance could be vital in getting through this process as efficiently and successfully as possible. Learn more by calling today.