What is a U-Visa?
The U-Visa is a relatively new nonimmigrant visa for victims of crimes. The crime must be a serious violation of criminal law, not civil law, and the person filing must be the direct victim of the crime. For example, if a child was the victim of a crime, their parents could not file for a U-Visa.
What is my requirement to work with the police once the application is filed?
You need to cooperate with the police on any investigation into the crime. The police officer needs to sign an important form called the I-918B.
What are some qualifying crimes?
The crimes that qualify are generally serious and violent in nature. Crimes like rape, assault, attempted murder, or armed robbery could qualify for a U-Visa.
Does the person committing the crime have to be a U.S. citizen? Does the crime have to happen in the United States?
The perpetrator of the crime does not need to be a citizen; as long as the crime happens inside the USA, the victim can apply for a U Visa.
What kind of evidence do I need to support my application?
In addition to the I-918B, you will need police reports describing the incident, medical or psychological reports to prove injury, and identity papers such as a passport or birth certificate.
If it is approved, can I get a Green Card? What about my family?
Yes. If your U-Visa is approved, both you and your family can get Green Cards. You can also get a work permit while your case is pending.
How long does the process take?
The process is extremely slow. USCIS can take 4 years to process your claim.