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U Visa for Robbery — Understanding Your Options

man stealing wallet from woman

If you've been a victim of robbery or another qualifying crime, you may be eligible for immigration relief through something called a U visa. But what is a U visa, and how can victims of robbery seek protection and legal status in the United States under this program?

Understanding U Visas and Robbery

By understanding the requirements and benefits of the U visa program and seeking assistance from an experienced immigration attorney, you can take steps to protect your legal rights and pursue a path to lawful status in the United States. Victims of robbery may qualify, depending on the unique circumstances of their case.

  • Benefits of U Visas — U visas provide victims of qualifying crimes with temporary legal status in the United States and the opportunity to apply for work authorization. Additionally, U visa recipients may eventually become eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency (green card) after meeting certain requirements.
  • Qualifying Crimes — The list of qualifying crimes for the U visa is extensive. While robbery itself is not listed as a qualifying crime, the underlying offense of felonious assault during the commission of the robbery may qualify. We discuss felonious assault in more detail below.
  • Eligibility Requirements — To qualify for a U visa, victims must demonstrate that they have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the qualifying crime and are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. Victims must also obtain a certification from law enforcement confirming their cooperation.

What is Felonious Assault?

As stated above, although robbery is not specifically listed as a qualifying crime for the U visa, robbery involving felonious assault may qualify. Felonious assault, also known as aggravated assault, is a serious crime that involves the intentional infliction of severe bodily harm or injury upon another person with the use of a deadly weapon or by means likely to cause death or great bodily harm. It typically involves an intentional act that puts another person in fear of imminent bodily harm or injury. Examples of actions that might constitute felonious assault include:

  • Stabbing or stabbing attempt with a knife, resulting in serious injury.
  • Shooting or firing a gun at another person, causing injury or putting them at risk of injury.
  • Assault with a blunt object, such as a bat or a pipe, resulting in severe bodily harm.
  • Striking someone with a weapon, such as a hammer or a crowbar, causing significant injuries.
  • Intentionally driving a vehicle into a person with the intent to harm them
  • Brandishing a weapon while committing a robbery (armed robbery).

In the context of a robbery, felonious assault may occur when the perpetrator uses force or threatens to use force against the victim during the commission of the crime. For example, if a robber brandishes a weapon, such as a firearm or a knife, and threatens to harm the victim if they do not comply with their demands, this could constitute felonious assault. Similarly, if the robber physically attacks the victim, causing them serious bodily harm or putting their life at risk, it would also be considered felonious assault.

The Application Process

The process of applying for a U visa involves submitting a variety of forms and supporting documentation, including a personal statement detailing the circumstances of the crime and the impact it has had on the victim. Working with an experienced immigration attorney can help ensure that your application is thorough and accurately reflects your eligibility for a U visa.

It's important to note that the specific elements of felonious assault may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. An immigration attorney experienced in handling U visa cases can provide invaluable assistance throughout the application process. From determining eligibility and gathering supporting evidence to communicating with law enforcement and advocating on your behalf, an attorney can guide you every step of the way.

Reach Out to Yekrangi & Associates Today

If you believe you may be eligible for a U visa or have questions about your immigration options after being a victim of robbery, contact the experienced immigration team at Yekrangi & Associates. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys are here to provide you with the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.

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