U Visa

Victims of Crime

General Information

  1. The U-visa was created in the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) of 2000. It is a non-immigrant visa for victims of crimes that occurred within the United States or that violated the laws of the United States.
  2. U non-immigrant status allows non-citizen victims of crime to stay in the U.S., and obtain employment authorization.
  3. Maximum number of U-visas granted is 10,000.
  4. U-visa term = 4 years
  5. May be accompanied by eligible family members (i.e. if under 21: spouse, children, unmarried siblings under 18, and parents, if over 21: spouse & children).

Regulations effective Oct. 17, 2007.

U-Visa General Requirements  

  1. Immigrant suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of a qualifying criminal activity;
  2. The immigrant (or if under 16, then the parent, relative, or friend) possesses information concerning the criminal activity;
  3. The immigrant (or if the immigrant is under 16, then the parent, relative, or friend) has been helpful, is being helpful, or will be helpful in the investigation or persecution of the criminal activity;
  4. The criminal activity violates the laws of the United States or occurred in the U.S.

 The Following Persons are Barred from U-Visa Relief

  1. Individuals with aggravated felonies;
  2. Individuals who are already in valid nonimmigrant status; and
  3. Individuals who fall under one of the grounds of inadmissibility. Potential U interim relief applicants who are in removal proceedings are eligible for U interim relief but must overcome an extra set of hurdles.


Qualifying Criminal Activity for U-Visa

Abduction Incest Rape
Abusive sexual   contact Involuntary   servitude Sexual Assault
Blackmail Kidnapping Sexual Exploitation
Domestic violence Manslaughter Slave trade
Extortion Murder Torture
False imprisonment Obstruction of   justice Trafficking
Felonious assault Peonage Unlawful criminal   constraint
Female genital   mutilation Perjury Witness tampering
Hostage Prostitution Other related   crimes


 U-Visa Petition Process

  1. Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-918; Form I-918 Supplement A for Qualifying Family Members);
  2. Certification from Federal, State or Local Law enforcement, within 6 months of filing(Form I-918 Supplement);
  3. Applicant’s Declaration
  4. Evidence that victim of qualifying criminal activity;
  5. Evidence of substantial physical or mental abuse;
  6. Evidence that applicant possess information concerning qualifying criminal activity
  7. Evidence of Helpfulness
  8. Evidence Criminal Activity is Qualifying and Violated U.S. Law or Occurred in the United States
  9. Waiver of Ground(s) of Inadmissibility (See INA §212(d)(3);
  10. All petitions are filed with the Vermont Service Center. There if no filing fee for the      U-visa.  Must pay biometrics fee. No deadline.