What is a U visa?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2024 | US Immigration Law

A U visa is a nonimmigrant visa set aside for the victims of certain qualifying crimes who have found themselves in this country without proper documentation.

A U visa provides these immigrants with a temporary legal status that will allow them to remain in the United States for up to four years. During those four years, recipients of U visas may become eligible to apply for a change of status to obtain permanent residency.

What are the qualifying crimes for a U visa?

Numerous crimes qualify victims for a U visa, but some of the most common include:

  • Abduction
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Human trafficking
  • Blackmail or extortion
  • False imprisonment

It’s crucial to note that the crime must have occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws to be “qualifying.” In addition to being victimized, those who hope to receive a U visa must also agree to assist law enforcement with its investigation of the crime or the prosecution of those who committed it. 

U visa holders are eligible for numerous benefits, including work authorizations. This enables them to support themselves and their families. In addition, after three years of continuous presence in the U.S. with a U visa, the holders may apply for lawful permanent residence (green card status).

U visas play a crucial role in ensuring that victims of crimes find protection, support and a legal path forward to residency within the United States. If you want to learn more, it may be time to seek experienced legal guidance for your immigration needs.