U visas are visas for individuals who are victims of a crime who sustained physical or mental injuries and helped law enforcement officials with the investigation and prosecution of the criminal. At Consumer Law Group, our team of U visa immigration lawyers are here to help you get the protection you need with a U visa. We even have a team of deportation lawyers and green card lawyers ready to help you with any immigration-related cases.
- Affordable legal assistance: We strive to provide affordable legal services that are accessible to clients of all walks of life.
- Bilingual services: At Consumer Law Group, our team of U visa immigration lawyers offers bilingual services in both English and Spanish so that you can communicate in a language you’re most comfortable with.
- Experience: With over a decade of immigration law experience, Consumer Law Group is your trusted source for any immigration needs, such as visas, citizenship, and adjustment of status.
At Consumer Law Group, we can help with a variety of other visas besides U visas, such as K-1 visas, TN visas, and H-1B visas. Other visas our visa lawyers can help you with include:
In 2000, Congress passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) to help strengthen law enforcement’s ability to investigate and prosecute criminal cases of sexual violence, domestic abuse, human trafficking, and other crimes. This act was also put in place to help protect victims suffering from mental or physical abuse from a crime who are willing to help law enforcement authorities investigate and prosecute the crime.
The purpose of a U visa is to give immigrants peace of mind knowing they’ll be protected from deportation proceedings if they decide to speak up about a crime. The U visa was established to not only help victims from their assailants but to improve society as a whole.
U visas also help immigrants with criminal, unlawful presence, or deportation offenses against them gain legal residency, even when they aren’t eligible for a visa via family members or employment. At Consumer Law Group, our U visa immigration lawyers can help you apply if you are an immigrant victim of a crime.
In order to qualify for a U visa, you must meet the following U visa eligibility criteria:
- You are the victim of a qualifying criminal activity.
- You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse due to being a victim of criminal activity.
- You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or friend may provide the information about the crime on your behalf.
- You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf.
- The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
- You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.
The types of crimes that qualify immigrants for a U visa include:
- Abusive Sexual Contact
- Domestic Violence
- False Imprisonment
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Felonious Assault
- Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
- Involuntary Servitude
- Obstruction of Justice
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Exploitation
- Slave Trade
- Witness Tampering
- Unlawful Criminal Restraint
This list also includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above and other related crimes.
Yes, undocumented immigrants can apply for a U visa, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements explained above. At Consumer Law Group, our U visa immigration lawyers can help ensure victims of crimes meet all of the eligibility requirements to secure a U visa, stay safe, and prevent deportation.
No, one of the benefits of a U visa is that individuals with unlawful presence, criminal, and deportation offenses can apply for a U visa. So, if you are an immigrant in the U.S. unlawfully who was a victim of a crime, you may be able to apply for a U visa if you meet all of the eligibility requirements. Our team of U visa immigration lawyers can help you determine whether you’ll be able to apply for a U visa.
Crimes eligible for a U visa must be serious and have taken place in the U.S. However, in some scenarios, overseas crimes that break U.S. law can be eligible, such as sex trafficking or kidnapping. Additionally, some crimes don’t have to be committed in order for you to be eligible—attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy to commit a crime can be enough evidence. For example, someone who is murdered can’t apply for a U visa. But, with evidence of attempted murder, they can be granted a U visa.
To help determine whether the crime you were a victim of qualifies you for a U visa, schedule a consultation with a U visa immigration from Consumer Law Group so you can seek the justice you deserve.
Yes, victims should also cooperate with law enforcement if they want to be eligible for a U visa. One of the main criteria for qualifying for a U visa is cooperating with government officials to help investigate and prosecute the crime. In turn, law enforcement must sign off that you were helpful during the criminal case.
One of the requirements for a U visa is for law enforcement to complete a certification form, which means if they don’t proceed with the criminal case, you might not be eligible for a U visa. However, if this happens to you—don’t fret. Our U visa immigration lawyers can fight on your behalf to better your odds of obtaining a U visa.
Yes, certain family members can obtain Derivative U visas if you are granted a U visa. Eligible family members include:
- Unmarried children under the age of 21
- Parents if the partitioner is under the age of 21
- Unmarried siblings under the age of 18 if the petitioner is under the age of 21
To have your family members obtain a U visa, you must file Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U visa Recipient along with your petition.
Being a victim alone isn’t enough to prove to USCIS that you’re deserving of a U visa. To obtain a U visa, you must have suffered from “substantial” physical or mental injury, with medical records and affidavits supporting your claims. USCIS will also evaluate how severe your injury was and the lasting impacts the abuse can have on your life.
Yes, in most cases, victims can still apply for a U visa even if the abuser isn’t an American citizen or a Permanent Resident. At Consumer Law Group, our team of immigration lawyers can help you complete your U visa application and help law enforcement prosecute the criminal.
Yes, you can apply for permanent residency if you are granted a green card. However, you can only do so after three years and have not unreasonably refused to provide assistance to law enforcement since you received your U visa.
U visas last for four years. After three years of maintaining U visa status, individuals can apply for a green card.
You can travel outside of the U.S. after you obtain U visa status. However, it can be extremely risky and put your pending application for a permanent visa at risk. Remember, U visas are granted so victims of crimes can assist law enforcement with investigating and prosecuting crimes. If a victim leaves a country during the middle of an investigation, they might not be able to reenter the United States. U visas give you permission to remain in the U.S. If you do decide to travel, you will have to obtain a visa to return, which can be an exhausting process. Before you decide to travel, speak with one of our trusted U visa immigration lawyers to ensure you’re able to maintain your U visa status.
With a large team focusing on various practice areas, we are able to help clients with diverse needs. Consumer Law can assist you with: