Maryland U Visa Case Process

A U Visa is a type of lawful immigration status available to individuals who have been victims of serious crimes within the United States, outlying territories, or in some cases military bases abroad. A Maryland U Visa lawyer with experience handling a variety of immigration cases will be able to help walk you through the process of applying for a U Visa as there are a variety of steps to take.

First Steps

The first step of the U Visa case process is to speak to an attorney about the crime to see on a basic level if there is a chance of it qualifying. Some crimes are not going to meet the threshold in order to qualify for a U Visa, such as someone having their car broken into. The second step is to obtain police reports and any kind of court records that exist regarding the case, as well as to collect other documentary evidence like medical records, photos, or other documentation of the crime.

Attorneys will want to see the police report first but sometimes if the individual knows the case number, the date of the incidents, or the name of the perpetrator, then they do not have to wait for the police report to come back. Generally, the attorney will get a police report and prepare a letter to the certifying official. The attorney will then help you decide if it is best to apply with the police department or the prosecutor and wait for the certification to come back. Most of the time, the U Visa attorney will prefer to get the certification back before moving on to the next step because if they do not get that initial certification, there is no case.

Documents Needed

Attorneys often prefer not to build the case and prepare the rest of the documents until they know it is going to move forward. They get the certification back and then the client and the attorney will draft the declaration. In the draft, the person applying is expected to explain what happened to them and the effects it had on their life, this will be reviewed by the attorney and then finalized and approved to be sent in.

They will then create a document list that they are going to have the applicant gather themselves to support their claim. There are a lot of similar items that will appear in every case but the process and necessary documents are different from case to case as it depends on the type of crime the person was a victim of and what kind of evidence that can be gathered.

In some situations, for instance, if the person has been the victim of domestic violence and they did not tell people about it, it may be very difficult for them to gather supporting letters or supporting documents.

Alternative Needs

In some cases, attorneys will send someone to a therapist, as they encounter a number of cases where this is the first time they have ever discussed their victimization. It can be helpful for these people to move forward by accessing professional help to deal with this victimization. It will help with the application as well, as a therapist can help document the emotional trauma they have been through and that can be submitted as evidence.

Each case is different in terms of the types of evidence gathered and once attorneys have all the documents decided necessary for the case, they will prepare the file and create a memorandum to put on as a cover letter to the application explaining why this person meets all the requirements, why they should qualify, and then it is sent to the Vermont Service Cente where there will then be a lengthy wait.

Role of an Attorney

An attorney has many roles during a U Visa application. They will first uncover the crimes those applying are victims of, and then they will ask if they called the police and cooperated with any investigation or prosecution. As soon as they establish that, then they can move forward, as a lot of times people will be victims of crimes that would have qualified but they never called the police. It ends there and they were not helpful, which constitutes unhelpfulness–according to USCIS, if a person does not report the crime, then they were not helpful in the investigation. A Maryland U Visa lawyer will be able to protect your rights when going through the case process for a U Visa and will make sure to be helpful in all steps of the investigation and the case.

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