Obtaining a U Visa

There are particularities for various parties applying for a U Visa and there are restrictions in time if people are looking for permanent status that applicants should also be aware of. It is beneficial to have an experienced attorney in Maryland help when applying for and obtaining a U Visa in order to explain all the particularities.

For example, for a person with a student visa, it is the same process for their student visa application as for a U Visa application. A person who is in a valid status like a visitor visa or a student visa is eligible to apply for a U Visa. It would be a good idea to do when their schooling ends as it can lead to another option of temporary status in the United States.

It is the same process for a person with a work visa. A number of people who have an H1B work status apply for U Visas and sometimes, though the H1B status is a perfectly valid status to be in the United States, that will expire if they leave their job or if they are fired and there is a time limit on that as well. It does not automatically lead to a permanent status in the United States. They can still apply, but it is not possible to have both statuses at the same time. A person can work lawfully in H1B status until their U Visa is approved and then a person can change their work authorization to say their permission in the United States is based on their U Visa status as opposed to their H1B status and it will not be tied to their job. It is a good idea in both situations of school and work to apply for the U Visa in order for temporary residence.

Length and Post-U Visa

Once a person has obtained a U Visa approval  status, it will be valid for four years. After three years, a person can apply for their green card. It cannot be renewed. It is strictly a temporary status. After three years of the four, a person is eligible to apply for their green card, which is a permanent status. The U Visa can lead to a permanent status but the U Visa status itself is not permanent or renewable.

Adjusting Status

There are some limited circumstances where an U Visa extension may be possible and necessary. An instance where this could happen is one when a principal applicant applies in the United States and then applies for a derivative applicant like a child outside the United States. Sometimes the U Visa will be approved and then the individual enters the United States on the U Visa derivative status but they do not come quickly enough.

When the U Visa principal applicant is ready to adjust their status, the derivative does not have the three years in the United States that is required to get the green card. In some cases, if the individual is not going to accrue the three years that are required in U Visa status before that four-year period expires because their timeframe will be tied to the principal applicant’s U Visa, then they can apply for an extension. Any person in this situation would benefit from a Maryland U Visa attorney to help with the particularities of obtaining a U Visa and its possible extensions.

Immigration Benefits with a U Visa

It is a great option for many people to obtain and maintain a U Visa, especially if a person has other grounds of inadmissibility that are not otherwise waivable or a person does not have other options for lawful status. Often, it is one of the only options. It is a great benefit as it gives a person lawful status in the United States, allowing them to work, and if they do not commit any crime or have any other kind of violations during the time they are in lawful status, it can lead to citizenship.

A person can apply for their green card after three years of physical presence in U Visa status in the United States. Once a person gets their green card five years later, they can apply for citizenship, assuming they do not have any criminal issues or trigger other immigration issues. A U Visa lawyer in Maryland has experience with a variety of U Visa cases and will be able to help any applicant in applying or obtaining their U Visa.

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