Virginia U Visa Lawyer

A U visa can provide a positive outcome to a painful situation. With a U visa, the victims of certain crimes gain permission to live and work in the U.S. for up to four years, and the ability to apply for lawful permanent resident status or Green Card. Benefits may be extended to family members as well.

Only a limited number of U visas are granted each year, however. Those waiting for a decision on a U visa application may be able to gain authorization to wait in the U.S. Because of the competition to obtain a U visa, it a good idea to ensure that application requirements are fully met and that you avoid actions which can delay or jeopardize approval of your application.

Many applicants find it helpful to work with a Virginia U visa lawyer who is familiar with the U visa process. A knowledgeable immigration attorney can oversee the application process, investigate delays, assist in seeking a U visa extension, or help with obtaining a Green Card for yourself or a family member once the U visa holder has held U visa status for three years.

Understanding a U Visa

The U.S. government issues two types of visas — temporary nonimmigrant visas and permanent immigrant visas which enable a holder to obtain a Green Card and live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. Although a U visa is classified as a nonimmigrant visa, it can be used to obtain permanent status in the U.S. so this type of temporary visa is highly in demand.

U visas are available to certain crime victims who assist law enforcement officials investigating or prosecuting certain types of criminal activity. Qualifying family members may be eligible to receive a derivative U visa. After a U visa holder has lived in the U.S. for three years, the holder may be eligible to apply for a Green Card with the help of a NoVa U visa lawyer.

Qualifying for a U Visa

There are several criteria an applicant must meet to qualify for a U visa. The most unique of these criteria is that the applicant must be the victim of a particular type of criminal activity. The government maintains a lengthy list of qualifying crimes which includes:

  • Human trafficking/slave trade/prostitution
  • Domestic violence/stalking
  • Rape/sexual assault
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Involuntary servitude
  • Abduction/kidnapping
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Felony assault/attempted murder

Suffering from an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a qualifying crime will also make a victim eligible for a U visa. However, all victims must suffer substantial physical or mental trauma as a result of the criminal activity to qualify for a U visa.

Additionally, the victim of the crime must have information about criminal activity and be willing and able to help law enforcement officials investigate or prosecute the crime. Finally, the criminal activity must have either occurred in the U.S. or violated U.S. laws.

Consult with a Dedicated NoVa Immigration Attorney on U Visa Matters Today

Through the U visa program, the U.S. government seeks to help victims of crime and further the prosecution of criminal activity to prevent harm in the future. Because this visa program has proven so popular, rules regarding the program have changed and may be amended again in the near future.

It can be very helpful to work with a knowledgeable Virginia immigration attorney who understands the requirements for the U visa program and knows how to take advantage of the latest opportunities provided by changes in immigration laws. A Virginia U visa lawyer may also help apply for a waiver if you are currently considered inadmissible or need help with a permanent visa application once you obtain a U visa. Call now to learn how a visa attorney can assist in your situation.