U Visa Applications

Mississippi Immigration Attorney – 601.501.7105

While the majority of visas involve a foreigner looking for employment or to live with family members in the United States, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recognizes that not all immigration situations will be so ideal. In many situations, an immigrant needs to step onto American soil for his or her own safety, or that of their families.

In 2000, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act was passed, which created two new types of visas:

  • U visas reserved for immigrants that have been victimized or implicated in a serious crime.
  • T visas reserved for immigrants that have been traded or harmed through human trafficking.

It is quite rare for the USCIS to use or approve a T visa. A U visa is much more likely to be assigned, as the eligibility requirements are not as restrictive and the “serious crimes” defined in its statutes are broader and more likely to occur.

Crimes the USCIS considers serious includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Murder or manslaughter
  • Robbery, armed or otherwise
  • Sex crimes and rape
  • Domestic violence
  • Assault and other violent crimes
  • Kidnapping and abduction
  • Crimes related to obstruction of justice
  • Foreign labor contracting fraud

An immigrant that has been subjected to crimes of these natures may be eligible to use a U visa to remain in the United States for a period of time that is not necessarily predetermined. You can call 601.501.7105 to connect with Mississippi Immigration Attorney Navketan Desai. If you or a loved one are in immediate physical danger, please take the appropriate steps to stay safe, including calling the authorities. Everyone has the right to bodily protection, including undocumented immigrants.

Your Participation in Investigations

An immigrant that receives a U visa will not, in most cases, simply be harmed by a serious crime and become eligible. The USCIS expects some sort of participation with criminal investigations related to the serious crimes in question. Many times, in order to receive a U visa, the immigrant must agree to provide any information possible to catch, arrest, and try the perpetrator.

It is also possible that a U visa will expire once the criminal investigation completes or the perpetrator is sentenced. Be sure to work closely with an immigration attorney to determine how long your U visa can last. You may also want to learn if your U visa can turn into a form of legal permanent residence (LPR) if returning to your home country always represents an issue of safety.

Evidence of Abuse or Harm

A person who is involved, implicated, or targeted in a serious crime has not qualified for a U visa on these grounds alone. Serious physical harm or mental trauma must have also occurred due to such criminal actions. Furthermore, proving that harm or trauma is necessary.

Medical records can be extremely useful in proving that your physical wounds were real. Photographs of wounds may also be convincing. You may need statements from doctors or physicians, though, to prove that mental anguish is real and not exaggerated.

Take Action Today by Calling 601.501.7105

The longer you delay to seek a U visa after being harmed by criminal activity in another country, the less likely your petition will be approved. Work with a Mississippi immigration attorney from the firm to learn how and where to begin the petition process, and whether or not you are ineligible by default due to a preexisting “inadmissibility” status. Online consultation request forms are available to get you started.