Fairfax U-Visa Eligibility

Obtaining a U visa is a great benefit for many people who do not have a lot of other options. This is because it can lead to permanent legal status in the United States after a person has been present for three years.

However, in many cases, if you have a borderline issue as to whether or not your crime is a qualifying crime, it is important to have an attorney to make the argument that it qualifies under the federal definition of the qualifying crime.

It is also helpful to have a lawyer in obtaining the law enforcement certification itself because the process can often be complicated and may require some sort of advocacy with the law enforcement agency. An attorney can help you through the entire duration of the process of obtaining a U visa in Fairfax including through filing Form I-198a after they have proven that a person has been the victim of a qualified crime and they have the U-Visa certification signed.


Any undocumented individual in the United States or outside of the United States who is a victim of a qualifying crime and has been helpful in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime is otherwise admissible or eligible for a waiver.

The crimes can sometimes differ from state to state, but the key is to look at the elements of the state offense and make the argument that it could have been charged under the federal definition of the crime. The crime does not have to have been exactly underneath the federal statute, but the activity or incident that occurred needs to have been a possibility that it could have been charged with that federal crime. An individual will need to show that they are dealing with the jurisdictional issues of federal law. This is a crucial necessary factor when obtaining a U visa in Fairfax.

Applying for a Student Visa

An individual with a student visa can apply to obtain a U visa in Fairfax. It is actually a better status if an individual wants to remain permanently in the United States, because it can lead to a permanent status. An individual can apply concurrently with their student visa. An individual will not lose their student visa status just because their U-Visa application is pending.

The process is the same with a student visa as it is without. A person will do an exchange status application once the U visa application is approved.

Applying with a Work Visa

An individual with a work visa can also apply for a U visa concurrently with an employment-based status, and they do not have to terminate the employment-based status in order to the get U visa. Once the U visa is approved, the individual can change their status straight from an H1B or employment-based status to the U-Visa holder.

Holding Both Visas

When trying to obtain a U visa in Fairfax, the process becomes even more complicated if you have both a student and work visa. A person would not need both statuses at the same time. If they wanted to apply to become a lawful permanent resident, they would change their status to that of a U visa holder once that the U visa application was approved.

Visa Length

After obtaining a U visa in Fairfax, it will be valid for four years and cannot be renewed. However, after three years of physical presence in a U visa status, they can apply for their green card.

A U visa cannot be extended except in very limited cases. Even if an individual was a derivative applicant and aged out of U visa status, did not enter, or if they are a derivative who applied from abroad and then entered the country too late and were unable to accrue the years of physical presence in the United States necessary for the U visa status by the time the principal applicant was ready to adjust their status to that kind of a green card, a person cannot apply for an extension.

A person should consult with an attorney to discuss the specifics regarding an extension of their visa.

Current Cap

There are 10,000 U visas available per year. Once that 10,000 is allocated, a person will be put into a queue. Right now, there is a backlog of applicants with the wait being around two years once the provisional approval is made.

Fairfax U Visa Application Process

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