Alexandria U Visa Case Process

U visas can be extremely valuable nonimmigrant visas to acquire for victims of crimes because they help to assure law enforcement that all of those residing in the case’s jurisdiction will be willing to cooperate in the investigation of those crimes without the fear of suffering negative immigration consequences.

The Alexandria U visa case process can be complicated and requires many details and paperwork, making an Alexandria U visa attorney essential in ameliorating your workload. Read the below information to learn more about the Alexandria U visa case process, as well as the benefits of retaining a dedicated immigration lawyer early on to assist you throughout the case.

Important Steps in the U Visa Case Process

When first applying for a U visa, the applicant must obtain the following documents:

  • Form I-918 & its Certification
  • U Nonimmigrant Status Certification
  • Petition for U Nonimmigrant Visa
  • Supporting documents, e.g. Evidence of Harm Suffered
  • A Personal Statement
  • Form I-192
  • Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant

After submission, the applicant receives a receipt notice indicating the date USCIS received the application. After a few weeks, the applicant will receive a biometrics notice to have fingerprints taken. Thereafter, the application remains pending with USCIS until they are able to adjudicate. The timeline of this process can be impacted by the number of applicants USCIS receives, whether or not their cap of 10,000 is reached, and how quickly it can adjudicate them.

After the underlying petition is approved, then the U Visa recipient receives work authorization. It is worth noting that after three years physically present in the U.S. with U visa status, the recipient may apply for a Green Card.

Risk of Deportation While Waiting for Case Approval

U visa applicants facing removal can request that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) join a motion to administratively close proceedings while the U visa petition is pending before USCIS so that they do not have to attend immigration court hearings.

DHS has been reluctant to administratively close proceedings and cases have been continued for years and years to permit USCIS to adjudicate petitions. In this situation, a U visa applicant may be ordered removed and they may have to submit a stay of removal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

Nevertheless, the U visa applicant may still be removed from the US because the pending U visa application does not grant any immigration benefit. The applicant would need to go through consular processing in this situation once their U visa is granted by USCIS.

Factors in a Prosecutorial Discretion

The factors that the DHS will consider in a prosecutorial discretion request for administrative closure include:

  • The reason administrative closure is sought
  • The basis for any opposition to administrative closure
  • The likelihood the respondent will succeed on any petition, application, or other action being pursued
  • Anticipated duration of closure
  • The responsibility of either party in contributing to any current or anticipated delay
  • The ultimate outcome of removal proceedings when the case is re-calendared

Know that seeking help from an attorney in these situations has the potential to help strengthen an applicants case before the DHS by gaining an aggressive advocate on their behalf.

Cancellation of Removal

If a respondent is eligible for cancellation of removal, they should always pursue all available relief. Cancellation of removal should be pursued if eligibility is met and the applicant appears before the immigration court. However, cancellation under VAWA counts towards the 4,000-per-year cap of cancellation of removal cases, and the individual must be in removal proceedings to apply for cancellation of removal under VAWA.

Any individual can still apply for a U visa while in removal. A U Visa is a form of relief available under US immigration laws, and it can be applied while having a case pending before the immigration courts. Cancellation of removal for certain nonpermanent residents can be obtained for those who have been victims under VAWA.

These cases can prove to be extremely complicated, involving many moving parts and forms that need to be filled out by the applicant. While the Alexandria U visa case process may feel overwhelming, know that you do not have to face it alone. Reach out to a professional Alexandria immigration lawyer today to receive assistance in your U visa case.