U Visa/U Nonimmigrant Status

The U visa/U Nonimmigrant Status allows non-citizen victims of crime to stay in the United States, obtain employment authorization, apply for lawful permanent resident status, and help certain family members obtain status as well.

U visa status was created to protect victims of certain crimes who have gathered the courage to come forward, report the crime and assist in its investigation and prosecution.

To qualify, the crime victim must

1. Demonstrate that s/he has suffered substantial physical or mental harm resulting from certain kinds of criminal activity.

2. Possess information concerning the criminal activity that resulted in the harm.

3. Be helpful, have been helpful or be likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.

4. Have a certification from a federal, state or local law enforcement authority certifying his/her helpfulness in the investigation or prosecution.

5. Be admissible to the United States or be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility.

The criminal activity at issue must violate the laws of the United States or occur in the United States.

Persons who meet the requirements above are eligible to apply for U status. If granted, they will receive this status for up to four years.

After three years of continuous U nonimmigrant status in the United States, persons who qualify may adjust status to permanent residence (obtain a green card). Certain family members may also be eligible to obtain U visas and permanent resident status.

If you have questions about this benefit, please call the office to schedule a consultation. We have successfully applied for U visas on behalf of many clients and would be happy to discuss your eligibility.