U Visas for Nonimmigrants


“Green cards or U Visas for Nonimmigrants are visas set aside for nonimmigrant victims of certain crimes who have been or will abuse mentally or physically. The victim of a crime can qualify for a specific green card, but they must be nonimmigrants with status U.”

U Visas for Nonimmigrants


You could seek help from a U visa lawyer if you are the victim of a crime. In Sacramento, U visa lawyers are available to review your situation, determine your eligibility for a U visa, and assist you with the process.

Our goal is to help clients with U visa applications understand the complex emotions and trauma associated with being victims of crime and violence. If you need help with your U visa application, we can guide you every step of the way.


What is a U Visa?

It is possible to qualify for the U nonimmigrant visa if you are a victim of specific physical or mental abuse and can assist law enforcement in pursuing the criminal activity. On October 20, 2000, Congress created the U visa.

The visa can be used to report crimes to authorities by victims of human trafficking, sexual assault victims, and victims of physical abuse.

Survivors or victims of such crimes often feel reluctant to report the crimes to authorities for fear of deportation or detention. As many of these victims are undocumented, they are not legal immigrants, so they feel unapproachable by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Undocumented immigrants are often the target of criminals who get away with their crimes because of this. Due to this, immigrants are at risk of being victimized by crimes.

This visa, however, is intended to allow more victims to feel safe approaching law enforcement to seek justice. Law enforcement hopes to improve its ability to investigate and build cases against a criminal activity as survivors tell their stories.


Eligibility for a U Visa

U Nonimmigrant Visas are available to those who meet the following requirements:

  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services deem you to be or have been a victim of criminal activity.
  • Victimized by a crime who suffered significant abuse physically or mentally
  • You can describe the criminal activity for which you were a victim. Children under 16 can have a close third party notify them about a crime on their behalf if they are under 16
  • A Law Enforcement Certification can prove your ability to assist law enforcement in investigations and prosecutions.
  • You were a victim of a crime in the United States or a law violation.


Qualifying criminal activities

The following crimes can qualify you for a U visa if you have been a victim or involved in one. To help you start and finish your application for a U visa, we will provide you with the following resources:

  • Abduction
  • Abusive sexual contact
  • Domestic violence
  • Extortion
  • False imprisonment
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Hostage
  • Involuntary servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Slave trade
  • Stalking
  • Torture
  • Unlawful criminal restraints
  • Other related crimes

There may be crimes comparable to those listed above that qualify for a U visa. A U visa lawyer can assist you if you qualify for a U visa.


The basic requirements for a U Visa or U Status

Victim of qualifying criminal activity:

To qualify for a U Visa, you must have been a victim of one of the enumerated crimes in the Immigration and Nationality Act. A few examples of these crimes are rape, sexual assault, felony assault, domestic violence, stalking, kidnapping, and abduction.


Suffered Abuse:

It is your responsibility to prove the crime physically or mentally abused you. It can be difficult to determine whether the harm was psychological or mental. An attorney can assist in this area, and you will be able to get the necessary resources, including expert medical opinions.


Helpful to law enforcement:

Law enforcement must have used your help or help to investigate the offence. Law enforcement certifications about the crime must be submitted along with your application for U Status.

To get this certification quickly, an attorney can help speed up the process by requesting and obtaining it through appropriate channels.


Certifications for U Visa applicants

Obtaining a law enforcement certification is necessary to apply for a U nonimmigrant visa. This process requires you to complete Form I-918B. It confirms that you were both victimized by a qualifying crime and are willing to cooperate in investigations and prosecutions about the crime.


Certifications for U Visa Applicants


A U visa or USCIS form does not need a conviction for the perpetrator. Applicants who qualify must prove their willingness to cooperate with the United States investigations or prosecutions. There must be a signature from a member of the law enforcement agency on the form.

The hardest part of completing a law enforcement certification is getting it signed by an agency member.

The policies of many law enforcement agencies make it impossible for you to qualify based on your location. You can get guidance from your immigration attorney about potential obstacles preventing you from obtaining your U visa.


What does the U Visa provide victims?

A U visa can provide several benefits to victims if it is approved, including:

  • Immigration status for qualified family members temporarily.
  • Authorization to work temporarily
  • Possibility of lawful permanent residency
  • U visas can also lead to citizenship. The United States grants you lawful immigration status once your U visa application is accepted. Temporary permanent residences are valid for four years.
  • When you are three years into your U visa, you can speak with your U visa lawyer about your eligibility for a green card. It would help if you spoke with your U visa lawyer to apply for Legal Permanent Residency.


Spouses and children of U Nonimmigrant status

Visas may be available for spouses, children, and parents of nonimmigrants who qualify for U visas.


How can we apply for a U Visa (Green Card)?

For petitions for U nonimmigrant status, you will need Form I-918. According to the discussion above, supplement B is where the authorized service can sign off on Form I-918.

This document must again bear the signature of an authorized official attesting that you have helped the United States government, will help it or are of help to it. Criminal investigations or prosecutions need your help.

There is no requirement that your abuser passes a conviction before signing this form. Consult an attorney to apply for a U visa outside the United States.


U Visa change of status

Fill out Form I-485 to apply for permanent residency. It is necessary to meet certain requirements to qualify for U nonimmigrant status adjustment:

  • To register for permanent residence, you must file Form I-485
  • The U-1 nonimmigrant visa has given you legal entry into the United States.
  • Your presence in the United States as a nonimmigrant has been continuous for at least three years.
  • Section 212(a) (3) (E) of the INA prohibits your admission.
  • The presence of the United States in your country is considered beneficial to the public interest, family unity, and humanitarian standards.
  • Inadmissibility
  • Discuss the possibility of filing Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant, with your U visa attorney if there are inadmissibility issues.


What is the process for proving that you suffered “substantial harm”?

A U visa requires that you prove substantial physical or mental harm resulting from the crime to receive one. If you suffer permanent or serious damage to your appearance, health, or physical or mental well-being, USCIS will consider several factors when determining whether the harm was “substantial.”

As evidence, you can use your statement as well as medical reports, health care providers’ declarations, and statements of professionals, friends, or family members who have helped you.

If you cannot provide details about the crime and the harm you are suffering in your declaration, your therapist might discuss the connection between the crime and the harm you are suffering. The best way to prove substantial harm to you is to work with your attorney and a crime victim advocate.


Is there any government or an agency that can provide the required law enforcement certification?

A U visa applicant may need a law enforcement certification from one of the following agencies or officials:

  • The federal, state, and local governments.
  • A judge; or
  • Child Protective Services, Equal Employment Opportunity, and the Department of Labor are some agencies investigating and prosecuting criminal activity.

If law enforcement has already informed you about the crime, your attorney can request certification from them. Several law enforcement agencies have employees who review certification requests related to U visas.

You might need to explain the U visa program to other agencies and why they should sign your certification if other agencies are unfamiliar with it.

No matter how the criminal case progresses, the law enforcement agency can sign the certification. Police can still sign the certification even if no suspect has occurred in your case. Law enforcement can also sign the certification even when the suspect has not won at trial.


Is there anything you can do if law enforcement won’t sign your certification?

Unless you follow the law, law enforcement will not sign certifications if you stop being helpful or refuse to do what they ask of you. Your attorney can, however, work with other attorneys, social workers, domestic violence advocates, and community members to educate the law enforcement agency about the U visa program if the law enforcement agency refuses to sign the certification.

Laws in your state might also need law enforcement agencies to respond to your certification request within a certain time.

The law in some states, such as California, even presumes that you have been helpful to them if you haven’t refused to help them. For help teaching the law enforcement agency about U visas, your attorney could contact ASISTA, a national non-profit organization.


If your U.S. citizen child is a victim of a crime, can you (the undocumented parent) qualify for a U visa?

Undocumented parents may be eligible for U visas as “indirect victims” if their child is a victim of one of the U visa crimes. If the victim is under 21, the indirect victims are the victim’s siblings and parents.


Can we apply for a U visa if in immigration court for deportation (“removal”) proceedings?

U visas are still available to applicants who have cases in immigration court or who will have them soon since Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained them. You cannot get a U visa from immigration judges.

USCIS might “continue” your case while they decide whether to approve your U visa application. Even if you are currently in immigration court, you should ensure that your case is complete and that you have all the required forms and documentation. Obtaining a U visa without the help of an attorney who has experience with U visas is difficult.

To avoid deportation, you need an attorney with immigration court experience, not just U visa experience.

Applicants seeking U visas in immigration and a federal court may enjoy the latest arguments and strategies provided by ASISTA, a national non-profit organization. To prevent deportation, ASSIST can also discuss filing a case in federal court with your attorney.


U Visa frequently asked questions.

What does U Visa cost?

USCIS lets you apply for a U visa for non-immigration for free.


What is the U Visa success rate?

According to USCIS, principal petitioners receive 87 per cent of U visa approvals. A U visa application can fail for various reasons, including missing proof, inadmissibility, criminal activity, abandonment, and not showing much harm.


U Visa attorney near me

Located conveniently in Colorado, the Attorney group offers various real estate services. Due to our extensive immigration law experience, we proudly serve our clients. We are available for phone or video conferences if you cannot come into our office or would prefer not to meet in person.


Bottom Line

Our firm helps individuals, families, and employers get U Visas for Nonimmigrants by providing legal representation.

We have a combined experience of many decades in U.S. immigration law. Our experience will assist you in navigating the complex process of obtaining a green card or nonimmigrant visa in the United States. Feel free to contact one of our team members today