Victims of Crime - U-Visa
Certain victims of crime and their immediate family are eligible for a U-visa. The U-visa is granted without regard to one's current immigration status. In addition, depending on the type of crime committed and the cooperation with the police or other authorities, the U-visa can be granted to individuals who themselves have prior criminal convictions or other grounds of inadmissibility, such as a visa overstay or unlawful entry.
What Exactly Is a U-Visa?
A U-Visa allows individuals to live legally in the United States for four years. Once three years passes, you can apply for adjustment of status to obtain a green card, which will eventually lead to US citizenship. A U-visa will also give you and your immediate family members work authorization.
Who Is Eligible for a U-Visa?
In order to apply for a U-Visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have been a victim of a crime that occurred in the United States;
- You must have been physically or emotionally injured by the incident;
- You must have cooperated with local, state, or federal law enforcement; and
- The agency that you cooperated with must be willing to certify that you cooperated with their agency.
Some individuals believe that may not be eligible for a U-visa because one or more of the requirements are not satisfied. However, speaking with a qualified Orange County Immigration Attorney can help you analyze each of these facts. For example, you do not need to have received medical care to satisfy the injury requirement. Also, cooperation with law enforcement can be as simple as dialing 911.
Waiver for Grounds of Inadmissibility
Many times, those applying for U-visas have certain grounds of inadmissibility which usually would render them deportable. However, an experience immigration lawyer will know the proper procedures to follow in asking the government to forgive these grounds of inadmissibility.
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