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What Is a U Visa?

Victims of serious crimes who are illegal immigrants can be an asset in aiding with the arrest and conviction of a guilty party without the burden of an uncertain future. If you are seeking to hold the perpetrator accountable for a crime that you are the victim of, continue reading and reach out to our experienced immigration firm to learn more about U visas.

What is a U-Visa?

The U visa is a United States nonimmigrant visa. The U visa is for crime victims and their immediate family members who have suffered physical or mental abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of that crime.

The U visa was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases. These cases involve areas such as sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence.

There are only 10,000 U visas issued per year. However, there is not a limit on the amount that can be issued to immediate family members such as spouses, children, and other eligible members.

A holder may apply to adjust status and become a Lawful Permanent Resident after three years of continuous physical presence in the United States while in U visa status.

Who is eligible to apply for a U Visa?

Applicants are required to meet six requirements in order to apply for a U visa including the following:

  • The applicant must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse.
  • The applicant must be willing to provide information concerning the crime.
  • The applicant is admissible to the United States under current law.
  • The applicant must assist in the investigation.
  • The applicant must have been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity.
  • The criminal activity occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.

What crimes qualify for the U Visa?

An applicant must be a victim of a qualifying crime to apply for a U visa. The following are some of the qualifying crimes:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Human trafficking
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Prostitution

Can I extend a U Visa?

A U visa is valid for four years. Extensions may be available if:

  • Requested by law enforcement
  • Needed based on exceptional circumstances
  • Needed due to delays in consular processing
  • Automatically extended upon the filing of an application for adjustment of status

Can I adjust the status of someone with a U visa?

In order to adjust the status of someone with a U visa, there are a number of items that must be submitted including the following:

  • Evidence of the applicant’s U visa approval
  • The applicant’s birth certificate
  • Copies of all passports
  • A medical examination and vaccination record
  • Evidence to show at least three years of continuous physical presence

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

We understand how much is on the line when clients face matters related to immigration. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC and we would be happy to provide you with assistance. Our firm is located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.