The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 created two new visa programs, including the U Visa for immigrant victims of serious crimes. This type of visa was created with the idea that foreign victims of crimes could provide law enforcement officials with information helpful to finding and prosecuting criminal offenders.
There are several eligibility requirements applicants have to meet to qualify for a U Visa. These include the following:
- You must have been the victim of a qualifying criminal activity. The crime must also have happened in the U.S. or violated a specific U.S. law. In some cases, bystander and indirect victims are eligible to apply.
- Those who were a victim of the crime must have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse.
- The victim, or a parent or guardian of the victim, must agree to be “useful” to law enforcement officials for the purpose of bringing the perpetrator of the crime to justice.
- The victim must be admissible to the U.S. and apply for a waiver using Form I-192 for Advance Permission to Enter as an Immigrant.
Those who wish to apply for a U Visa can do so from within the U.S. or from a U.S. consulate. Those who wish to apply for this type of visa should also retain the assistance of an attorney during the application process. If you want to know more about the U Visa program or you would like assistance with an application, please contact us at NorthPointe Law Group today.