U Visas give the victim of serious crimes the protection under immigration to allow them to come forward about criminal activity and collaborate with police.
U Visas are the subject of many questions and unique circumstances. The government established this nonimmigrant status in an attempt to protect the 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.
The underlying issue behind this legislation is that there was growing number of crimes that were unreported by undocumented victims. The undocumented victims fear reporting crimes to police because they fear being reported with immigration officials. The safety of our communities relies on the reporting by victims of the offenders, and when that doesn’t happen, dangerous offenders continue to commit violent crimes. Therefore, U Visas give the victim of serious crimes the protection under immigration to allow them to come forward about criminal activity and collaborate with police.
There are many factors and procedures for a U Visa petition. One of the very first requirements is that the police agency or law enforcement agency that has investigated the underlying crime has to certify, on a specific form, that the victim was helpful to the agency and that the crime fell within the detailed crimes that are qualifying for U Visas. This certification requirement can be very difficult to obtain, depending on the county in which the crime occurred. It is at the discretion of the police agency to complete the form and certify the crime and cooperation. If the agency decides that they do not want to sign the certification, then the victim will not be able to request the U Visa, as that is a requirement.
There are several other complex aspects to the U Visa, and you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney if you think you or a family member have been a victim of a violent crime and have cooperated with police. Contact us today at NorthPointe Law Group in Huntersville, North Carolina for more information.