U Visas

U Visas: Who Can Apply?

Foreign nationals will qualify for U Visas if:

  • they are the victims of a violent crime
  • have information about the criminal activity
  • cooperate with law enforcement in the criminal investigation
  • suffer substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime.
  • the crime took place in the United States

Law enforcement or other government officials must certify that the victim was cooperative with the investigation before a person can apply, but officials can refuse to certify for any reason. There is also a much higher demand for U Visas than there are visas available, resulting in long backlogs. Persons granted U status may apply for permanent residence (Green Card) after three years.

Inadmissible to the United States

Persons who are eligible for U Visas but are otherwise not admissible to the United States (meaning they have committed criminal offense or immigration violations) may apply for a waiver of inadmissibility at the time they file for U status.

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