U-Visa / Getting A Green Card By Assisting The Police
A noncitizen crime victim who assists law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of a crime may be eligible for a temporary visa called a U Visa and later this U-Visa may allow the beneficiary to adjust to a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). The intent of the legislation allowing for U-Visas was to “strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to detect, investigate and prosecute" violent crimes against immigrants. Some noncitizens may be hesitant to come forward to assist law enforcement for fear of negative immigration consequences but an opportunity to obtain temporary immigration relief may alleviate some of those concerns.
In order for the noncitizen to qualify for a U-Visa, the noncitizen must obtain certification from a government official, usually the police department or the district attorney’s office. Please bear in mind that the noncitizen could have entered the US without inspection as in when someone simply walks across the border. The government certification simply attests to the fact that the noncitizen victim was, is or likely to be useful for thedetection, investigation or prosecution of violent crimes.
In order to apply for a U visa, the noncitizen applicant must submit a certification from a qualifying agency (any federal, state or local law enforcement agency is qualified) verifying that the applicant:
• has been a victim of qualifying criminal activity;
• possesses information about the qualifying criminal activity;
• has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful to the investigation or prosecution of that qualifying criminal activity; and
• the qualifying criminal activity occurred in the United States or violated U.S. law
The certification must be completed by completing Form I-918, Supplement B. The certification must be completed by;
• the head of one of the qualifying agencies listed above
• any person in a supervisory role in a qualifying agency who is specifically designated by the head of that agency to issue U visa certifications; or
• federal, state, or local judges.
Prosecution of the criminal activity is not a requirement since the statute requires the noncitizen victim to be helpful in either the investigation or the prosecution of criminal activity. Please bear in mind that this legal guide was prepared by Attorney Khaja M. Din from the law firm of Din Memmen ( www.dinmemmen.com ) as a primer to the U-Visa and not meant to be a detailed explanation of the regulations or a how-to guide and there are many other vital considerations as well as exceptions.
To contact the attorneys at Din Memmen please visit our website at www.dinmemmen.com for our contact information.