ILLEGAL OR OUT OF STATUS IF YOU ARE A CRIME VICTIM–U VISA STATUS OPTIONS
If you know someone who is out of status here in the United States and has been the victim of a crime, he or she may be eligible for a U Visa. U visas are available to foreign nationals or aliens who are in the United States and entered without inspection (“EWI”) or have overstayed an original visa grant.
U visas have even been considered and granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) based on the following scenarios.
- A foreign national who was in a common law marriage, and has two U.S. children with her common law husband. Her husband is later killed. She is eligible for a U visa.
- Likewise, a client while working for an employer is involved in a robbery and assists in finding the escaped criminal is yet another example of someone who qualifies.
Qualifying Criminal Activity for U visas are listed in 8 C.F.R. Sec. 214.14. U visas petitions require the filing of form I-918 and a certification by the respective police department, amongst other requirements. A U visa also entitles the individual to a workers’ permit, and the possibility of adjusting to a U.S. permanent resident. If an individual or alien is in removal proceedings they may obtain temporary or permanent relief through the grant of a U visa. U visas are complex and require representation by an experienced U.S. Immigration lawyer.