THIS ARTICLE HELPS TO GIVE YOU INFORMATION whether you meet the basic requirements to get a U-Visa, PLEASE CONTACT an Immigration Lawyer of Valencia Law Group PLLC for more clarifications.
What is a U-Visa, and how can it help me?
A U-Visa lets victims of crimes who meet certain requirements stay in the United States. A U-Visa provides the following benefits:
You can legally live in the United States for four years. After three years of having a U-Visa, you can apply for a green card to stay in the U.S. permanently. (And if you get a green card, you can eventually apply to become a U.S. citizen).
With a U-Visa you can get permission to work in the United States.
Some of your family members might also be able to get a U-Visa.
With a U-Visa you might be eligible for certain public benefits in some states like California and New York.
How do I apply?
To apply for a U-Visa, you need to fill out certain forms and put together papers that support what you say on the forms. You then will send these documents to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“the government”). The government will decide whether you should receive a U-Visa. You do not need to go to court or an interview. You do not need a lawyer.
However, when possible, it is better to apply with the help of a lawyer or victim advocate.
The government will make its decision based entirely on the forms and papers that you send.
How long will it take the government to decide whether I get a U-Visa? Processing times vary. The government is currently taking about 6-9 months to approve or deny a U application. This time may change depending on the number of applications people send in. Also, it can take longer if the government requests more information partway through the process. If you are in immigration court, you can usually ask the judge to postpone your case in order to see if the U application is approved.
What type of person can apply for a U-Visa?
If you do not have immigration papers, you can apply for a U-Visa. You also can apply for a U-Visa if you stayed after your papers expired.
If you have a green card, you should ask a lawyer whether you can apply for a U-Visa.
You can apply for a U-Visa when you are outside the United States, so you may want to keep this option in mind if you have to leave the country. U 5 Almost no matter what you have done in the past, you can still apply for a U-Visa.
People who have committed crimes or been deported in the past can still apply.
How much does the U-Visa cost? The U-Visa is free. You do not have to pay to apply. However, most people have to send in an additional form called a waiver, and there is a fee for the waiver.
People who cannot afford the fee can ask to apply for the waiver for free.
If my U application is approved, can I travel abroad and re-enter the U.S.? If you travel abroad after your U application is approved, you must obtain the actual U-Visa stamp in your passport from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad before you can re-enter the U.S.
Is there anything I should do because I am in immigration detention?
There is an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hotline for detainees who believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime. If you are in immigration detention, be sure to tell the ICE officials at your facility that you are applying for a U-Visa and be sure to call the ICE hotline to let them know that you are applying for a U-Visa.
The ICE hotline phone number is (855) 448-6903.
If I get a U-Visa, can my family get papers too? Sometimes. If you get a U-Visa, you can get papers for some of your family members. But, you have to apply for them to get papers. If you want to apply for your family, you will need to fill out Form I-918 Supplement A. It does not matter if your family members are in the United States or if they are here legally.
Below is a list of people who are also eligible to receive U-Visas if the government approves your U-Visa application and you apply for them:
Are you eligible for a U-Visa? If you are under 21, your parents, your legally married spouse*, your children if they are unmarried and under 21, your unmarried sisters and brothers under 18 if you are 21 or over your children.
FOR MORE INFORMATION FEEL FREE AND CONTACT A VALENCIA LAW GROUP LAWYER
WARNING: before traveling abroad, you should contact a lawyer to discuss whether you might have difficulties obtaining the U-Visa stamp based on any criminal convictions/offenses or immigration violations in your record.
*NOTE: you must be married legally (or common law in some states) at the time you submit your U-Visa application for your spouse to qualify for a U-Visa based on your application.
Legal requirements: You must meet all of these conditions to apply:
Crime requirement Have you been the victim of a crime that occurred in the United States?
Helpfulness requirement Have you been helpful to the police or law enforcement?
Harm requirement Have you been hurt, either physically or mentally, because of the crime?
Documents you need: You must send the government all of these documents:
- Form I-918 Supplement B (also known as Supp-B) The form that shows that you helped law
- Form I-918 The main form for a U-Visa application
- Personal statement The story in your own words of what happened to you
- Form I-192 (if applicable) Waiver form: If you have committed either immigration or criminal violations, you need to ask the government permission to stay in the U.S.
- Cover letter A letter that you send along with your application
- Identity documents Documents that show who you are, like passports and birth certificates
Other: These documents are helpful but not necessary
Police and court records Which prove you were the victim of a crime
Letters from friends & family Which talk about the crime and the harm you suffered
Letters from doctors & mental health professionals Which help prove you were harmed by the crime
For more information contact a Lawyer From Valencia Law Group, this is a very delicate information and for clarifications you can set a free consultation, visit our offices in New Mexico, Ventura or Mesa Arizona.