Victims of Criminal Activity (U-Visa)
The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of noncitizens and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes.
Getting a U visa is a lengthy process. View a typically timeline.
The type of crimes that qualify for a U-visa are limited. If you are a victim of a criminal act and want to know more, please schedule a consultation with our attorney.
Domestic abuse Victims
VAWA allows an abused spouse or child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident or an abused parent of a U.S. Citizen to self-petition for lawful status in the United States, receive employment authorization, and access public benefits. VAWA provides domestic violence survivors with the means that are essential to escaping violence and establishing safe, independent lives. ILRC has co-authored The VAWA Manual, a step-by-step guide to assist advocates working on VAWA cases.
Victims of Persecution – Asylum Seekers & Refugees
The United States has created laws to help people who are afraid to return to their home countries because their government may harm them. The forms of relief are:
• Withholding of Removal
• The Convention Against Torture, or “CAT” for short.
“Asylum” is a way to stop your deportation and become a refugee. If you win “Asylum,” you’ll also have the chance to eventually become a permanent resident in the U.S. If you include your spouse or children on your application, they can also have the chance to become refugees and permanent residents through you.