Prince William County U Visa Lawyer

Being the victim of a crime can be traumatizing, especially if you are a non-citizen worried about your immigration status and the safety of your family. Fortunately, there is a way for non-citizen victims of crime to come forward and even qualify for a Green Card and citizenship in the future.

The U visa was designed to help victims obtain status and help law enforcement officials apprehend dangerous criminals, but this visa is not always easy to obtain. Crime victims must fully cooperate with investigators, and even then, some law enforcement agencies will still assert they are not eligible for a visa. If this has happened to you, consider contacting a Prince William County U Visa lawyer. Call today and let a dedicated immigration attorney advocate on your behalf.

History of the U Visa

The concept for the U visa was conceived by Congress in hopes of encouraging foreign victims of crime to come forward. In the past, many non-citizens refused to report crimes committed against themselves and others out of fear of deportation. Predatory individuals were aware of this fear, and they often targeted immigrant communities because they were less likely to report crimes.

The creation of the U visa allowed law enforcement officers to form closer relationships with the immigrant community. Investigating crimes becomes easier when witnesses and victims feel comfortable working together. For this reason, individuals who wish to obtain a U visa must fully cooperate with law enforcement officials during criminal investigations.

Qualifying for a U Visa

To qualify for a U visa, non-citizens must prove the following:

  • They were the victim of a qualifying crime
  • The crime caused them to suffer physically and/or mentally
  • They possess credible and helpful information about the perpetrators of the crime
  • They have helped law enforcement officials investigate the crime

Victims of crimes such as rape, human trafficking, domestic abuse, and kidnapping are usually eligible for U visas if they have information law enforcement can use to apprehend the perpetrator. However, there are other crimes that may also allow non-citizens to obtain U visas. Speak with a Prince William County U visa attorney to learn more about the qualifying crimes.

What is a Law Enforcement Certification?

Before a non-citizen can obtain a U visa, they must obtain a signed certification from a local, state, or federal law enforcement agency (usually the police, FBI, or office of a state prosecutor) affirming that the applicant was the victim of a qualifying crime.

This certification not only confirms that the visa applicant was the victim of a crime, but that they were willing to provide investigators with helpful information about the perpetrator. It is not necessary for the alleged perpetrator to have been charged with a crime before a person provides information or applies of a U visa.

Unfortunately, there is not a universal process for requesting certification from a governmental agency. The process varies from location to location. Law enforcement agencies are given a considerable amount of discretion to decide who deserves a certification, and sometimes, even when a person is willing to provide information and assist investigators, the agency will simply refuse to issue the certification.

Some states make it extremely difficult to obtain U visas, and if a person resides in such a state, they may need an experienced lawyer to advocate on their behalf.

Talk to a Prince William County U Visa Attorney

If you believe you are eligible for a U visa, or you were promised a certification you never received, there is no need to despair. You may have a variety of legal options at your disposal, many of which can help you get the visa you deserve. Talk to a Prince William County U visa lawyer when you are ready to take action.