By Tedia Gamino
Victims of certain crimes may be eligible for what’s known as a U visa, which affords a measure of protection to people who have suffered mental or physical abuse. If you feel you may be eligible, it may be a good idea to talk to a Milwaukee immigration attorney who can evaluate your case and help you get the best possible outcome.
Who is Eligible for a U Visa?
You could be eligible for a U visa (which puts you on U nonimmigrant status) if you’re the victim of a qualifying criminal activity.
Qualifying criminal activities 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
In addition to being the victim of one or more of these criminal activities, you must also:
- Have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of the activity
- Have information about the activity
- Help (or be likely to help) law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime
The crime must have occurred in the U.S. or have violated U.S. laws, and you must also be admissible to the U.S. (If you’re not, you may be able to apply for a waiver.)
You can apply for a U visa if you’re outside the United States, as well. When the USCIS grants U nonimmigrant status, it’s valid for 4 years; sometimes, in select circumstances, it can be extended. For example, if law enforcement requests an extension or if you have exceptional circumstances, or if there are delays in consular processing, you may be able to extend. Your U visa is automatically extended if you apply for a Green Card.
Do You Qualify for a U Visa?
If you qualify for a U visa or another humanitarian aid program, call our team of Milwaukee immigration lawyers at 414-383-6700; you can also contact us online. We are familiar with the process and can help make the process as simple as possible.