A U-Visa, put simply, is a kind of visa offered to undocumented immigrants who have been the victim of certain kinds of crime, or who were witnesses to those crimes, while they were in the United States. The possible crimes that might qualify a person for a U-Visa include
- Kidnapping or abduction
- False Imprisonment
- Rape, sexual assault or abusive sexual contact
- Trafficking or slavery
- Fraud in foreign labor
- Involuntary servitude or peonage
- Witness tampering or obstruction of justice
- Felonious assault
- Domestic violence
- Murder or manslaughter
- Any related crime to the above
When you apply for a U-Visa, you must demonstrate the following factors: you must have been victim of, or witness to, one of the aforementioned crimes; you must have suffered physical or psychological abuse as a result of your victimization or witnessing the event; you must be helpful, or must be likely to be helpful, to law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting the crime; the crime must have occurred in the United States, or have violated United States law; and you must be admissible to the United States (or else receive the appropriate waiver). If you meet these criteria, you may be awarded a U-Visa, which will allow you to legally stay in the United States for its duration.
Understandably this can be a lot for anyone to handle, which is why you’ll need good legal representation if you want to seek a U-Visa. If you are a non-citizen seeking a U-Visa or other immigration relief, please call the attorneys at Bretz & Coven LLP. We will help you through the difficult process of applying for a U-Visa, protecting your rights and giving you the best chance possible at attaining legal status. To schedule a consultation with our New York immigration lawyers, call (212) 267-2555.