Obtaining the U Visa in Alexandria

While obtaining the U visa in Alexandria can be a tedious and stressful situation, know that the help of an experienced immigration attorney has the potential to greatly expedite your application process. The U visa is an extremely valuable tool for immigrants, carrying with it significant immigration benefits such as authorized stay and work authorization.

It also contains the potential for US citizenship down the road as well, since it allows holders to apply for a green card after three years, and from there to apply for citizenship after having their green card for another five. Read the following information to learn more information about obtaining a U visa in Alexandria.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a U Nonimmigrant Status Visa in Alexandria?

Those eligible to apply for a U nonimmigrant status visa are individuals who have been a victim of a crime in the US, have assisted law enforcement, and have suffered substantial harm due to the crime. If someone meets these requirements, they can also apply for a U visa in the following circumstances as well:

  • Individuals with student visas  
  • Individuals with work visas

Know that eligibility does not depend on the commission of a federal crime. USCIS.gov provides a list of crimes that will make one eligible for a U visa. Sometimes states use different words to describe the same crime, but as long as the crime is the same as one on the list, the eligibility for the U visa is met.

U Visa Length and Renewal

All U visa holders will receive work authorization once the U visa is conditionally granted. A U visa is valid for four years, and after this length of time it may be extended if there is a law enforcement request to extend, if there are exceptional circumstances in the individual’s case and it is needed due to delays in consular processing, or if it is automatically extended upon the filing and pendency of an application for a green card. An individual will need to apply for a U visa extension when they do not meet the eligibility requirements for adjustment and there is a law enforcement request to extend.

Consequences of the U Visa Cap

The cap for obtaining the U visa in Alexandria is the limit on the number of U visas that may be granted to the principal petitioners.  The cap is currently 10,000 visas. If the cap is reached before all U nonimmigrant petitions have been adjudicated, USCIS has a waitlist based upon the date of filing. Petitioners placed on the waitlist are eligible for deferred action or parole and may apply for work authorization. 

The potential for attaining authorized stay, work authorization, and even green card possession or US citizenship from obtaining the U visa in Alexandria makes this opportunity extremely valuable for any immigrants who have suffered a crime on US soil. If you or a loved one are the victims of a US crime, reach out to a lawyer to learn more about how you can fill out your application.