The U visa is a benefit granted to victims of criminal acts committed in the United States, which allows them to live and work in the United States as long as they collaborate with the investigation process carried out by the authorities.
The purpose of this benefit is to guarantee that undocumented persons can file claims of violent crimes before the authorities without fear of being deported, reducing impunity to the extent that the capacity of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases is strengthened.
What immigration conditions must I meet to obtain this benefit?
You must be in the United States regardless of your immigration status. This type of visa was established to allow the undocumented people to file crime claims without fear of being deported.
What are the requirements to apply for a U Visa?
• Having been the victim of a qualifying crime within the United States.
• Having suffered considerable physical or emotional harm as a consequence of the commission of said crime.
• Help the authorities to clarify the crime and punish the responsible ones.
• Having proof of both the crime (police reports) and the substantial harm (medical history).
What are the crimes that are considered valid to apply for a U Visa?
• Domestic abuse (that a family member or partner has hit or harassed you).
• Criminal Assault (examples: firing a weapon, stabbing, robbery, or trespassing while you were present at your home).
• Involuntary Service (being forced to do work you don't want to do).
• Peonage (slavery) (being forced to do work that you don’t want to do to repay some debt).
• Sexual rape.
• Sexual Assault.
• Abusive sexual contact.
• Forced prostitution.
• Sexual exploitation.
• Female genital mutilation.
• Being held hostage.
• Slave trade.
• Illegal criminal detention.
• False imprisonment.
• Involuntary manslaughter.
• Obstruction of justice.
• Manipulation of witnesses.
The U Visa approval process is granted after compliance with the requirements and the proper presentation of proof of eligibility. The Government has established a quota of 10,000 visas per year which are available nationwide, which means that the approval of the visa could take several years.
Who are beneficiaries of the U Visa?
The petitioner, his/her spouse and his/her unmarried children and children who are under 21 years old.
If the petitioner is a minor, the beneficiaries are his/her parents and siblings who are under 16 years old may receive the benefits.