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UndocumentedVictims of Crimes Can Receive Legal Immigration Status in the U.S.

Posted by attorney Mani Khavajian

What is the U visa program?

Under the U visa program, a non-citizen who is the victim of a certain crimes and who cooperates with the police may be able to apply for temporary legal status. A person granted a U visa can legally live and work in the United States for three years. At the end of the three years, the U visa holder may apply for lawful permanent legal status (a green card).

Can I qualify for the U visa if I was the victim of an old crime?

Yes. Victims of past crimes are also eligible if they meet the U visa requirements.

Can my family members benefit from my U visa?

Yes. Your wife or husband and children under the age of 21 can be included in your application for a U visa. In addition, if you are a child under the age of 16, your parents, guardian, or next friend may be eligible for a U visa if the criminal prosecution would be harmed without their assistance.

You could qualify for a U visa if you meet the requirements listed below:

  1. You’re not a U.S. citizen, national or lawful permanent resident (green card holder).

  2. You’re a victim of a serious crime covered by the U visa.

  3. The crime occurred in the U.S. or a territory of or possession of the U.S.

  4. I suffered substantial physical or mental injury as a result of the crime.

  5. I have information about the crime.

  6. I have been, are being, or are willing to be helpful to the police investigation and prosecution of the crime

In order to qualify for the U visa, you must be a victim of one or more of the following crimes or any similar activity in violation of Federal, State, or local criminal law:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Felony Assault
  • Torture
  • Rape / Sexual Assault
  • Abusive Sexual Conduct
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Prostitution
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Slave Trade
  • Human trafficking
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Abduction
  • Unlawful criminal restraint
  • False imprisonment,Blackmail
  • Extortion
  • Witness Tampering
  • Obstruction of Justice, Perjury
  • Manslaughter, Murder or Attempt
  • and Conspiracy or Solicitation to commit any of the above listed crimes

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