The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act
Created to encourage victim to report crimes without fear and cooperate with law enforcement agents when investigating on a crime. Support law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute crimes committed against undocumented immigrant victims.
There is no requirement that an arrest, prosecution, or conviction occur for someone to be eligible for a U visa. As long as the victim has been helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity and meets all other eligibility requirements, the victim may petition for a U visa. Victim must stand ready to assist the investigation or prosecution, can’t unreasonably refuses to help.
Qualifying Crimes Include:
Abduction, Abusive Sexual Contact, Blackmail, Domestic Violence, Extortion, False Imprisonment Felonious Assault Female Genital Mutilation, Felonious Assault, Being Held Hostage, Incest Involuntary Servitude, Kidnapping, Manslaughter, Murder, Obstruction of Justice, Peonage, Perjury, Prostitution, Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Slave Trade, Torture, Trafficking Witness, Tampering, Unlawful Criminal Restraint also, include the inchoate crimes and other similar crimes
While the crime must have occurred in the United States, its territories, or possessions, or have violated U.S. law, victims do not need to be present in the U.S. in order to be eligible for a U visa and may apply from outside the United States.
LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT MUST SIGN THE CERTIFICATION
In order to sign the certification law enforcement must believe: The petitioner was a victim of a qualifying crime; The petitioner has specific knowledge and details of crime; and The petitioner has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of the qualifying crime.
Once the law enforcement official completes and signs Form I-918B, the original should be given to the victim or the victim’s legal representative or victim advocate, so that he or she can add the certification to the original U visa petition packet before submission to USCIS.
Petitioner must establish: “substantial physical or mental abuse”
Petitioner must pass a Background and security checks
VISA HOLDER MAY APPLY FOR LEGAL STATUS
U visa recipient receives nonimmigrant status to live and work in the United States for no longer than 4 years. Qualified recipients may apply to adjust status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card) after three years of continuous presence in the U.S.
Immediate family members of U visa recipients may also be eligible to live and work in the United States as derivative U visa recipients based on their relationship with the principal recipient. These family members include: Unmarried children under the age of 21 of principal U visa recipients; Spouses of principal U visa recipients; Parents of principal U visa recipients under age 21; and Unmarried siblings under 18 years old of principal U visa recipients under age 21.
If you believe you may be qualify for a u- visa or need more information on this visa, call our office: Hall & Castel Law 617-716 6464 There no status of limitation, it does not matter when the crime occurred we assist in determining if you have a strong case and go forward with the petition.