Immigrant victims of serious crimes may be eligible for a U-visa. Someone with a U-visa is granted status in the U.S. for four (4) years. Once an immigrant has had a U-visa for three (3) years, they can apply for legal permanent residence (a "green card").
To be eligible for a U-visa, an immigrant must have been a victim of a certain violent crime and this crime must have taken place in the United States or violated U.S. law. In certain cases, indirect and bystander victims are also eligible to apply (such as someone who witnessed a murder or a family member of a murdered person who can provide help to law enforcement). Even persons who entered without proper documents or a visa can apply for a U-visa.
Some crimes that qualify for a U-visa are:
· violent crimes such as murder, manslaughter, robbery, assault, domestic violence, stalking
· enslavement crimes such as kidnapping, forced labor, slavery, human trafficking, false
· sexual crimes such as rape, incest, sex trafficking, sex assault, prostitution, genital mutilation
An immigrant for a U-visa can also include certain family members in their application:
· their unmarried children under 21
· their spouse
· parents (if the applicant is under 21)
· unmarried siblings under 18 (if applicant is under 21)
If you are the victim of a crime or the child, spouse, parent or sibling of someone who is the victim of a crime, please give us a call so we can talk about your options.