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What is a U-Visa?


The U visa is for victims of crime and their immediate family members who have suffered serious mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist (or have assisted) law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of that crime. After three years of continuous physical presence in the United States while in U Visa status, a holder may apply to adjust status and become a permanent resident. 


Who is eligible to apply for a U Visa?

There are six requirements to apply for a U visa:

  • The applicant must have been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity.

  • The applicant must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse.

  • The applicant must be willing to provide information concerning the crime.

  • The applicant must assist in the investigation.

  • The criminal activity occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.

  • The applicant is admissible to the United States under current law.


Crimes that Qualify for a U Visa

A number of crimes qualify for the U Visa.  A few such crimes are:

  • Domestic violence

  • Female genital mutilation

  • Kidnapping

  • Manslaughter

  • Murder

  • Prostitution

  • Rape

  • Sexual Assault

  • Human trafficking


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 consulate processing  or

  • Automatically extended upon the filing of an application for adjustment of status.

Contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and learn how we may be able to help you.

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