Visas for Victims of Serious Crimes in the United States
Law Firm Helping People Obtain U Visas in Memphis
Shelby County Immigration Attorney for Victims of Serious Crimes
People come to the United States from all over the world to take advantage of the opportunities it provides to earn an income and raise families in a safe environment. In recent years, immigration officials have devoted a great deal of effort to finding, detaining, and deporting those who are not authorized to live and/or work in the U.S. For this reason, undocumented immigrants who have been the victim of a crime may be hesitant to report these crimes for fear that they will face repercussions that will affect their ability to stay in the United States. At Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, we are dedicated to helping protect the rights of immigrants, and if you have been the victim of a crime, we can help you understand your options to avoid deportation.
Obtaining a U Visa
Under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, which was passed in 2000, people who are the victims of certain crimes may apply for a U nonimmigrant visa which will allow them to continue living in the United States. The crimes must take place in the U.S. or violate U.S. laws, and eligible crimes include:
- Sexual Abuse
- Sexual Assault/Rape
- Domestic Violence
- False Imprisonment
- Unlawful Criminal Restraint
- Felony Assault
- Involuntary Servitude
- Slave Trade
- Murder or Manslaughter
- Sexual Exploitation
A person who is the victim of one of these crimes may apply for a U visa if the crime(s) has caused them to suffer significant physical or mental abuse and they are willing to assist law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of the crime(s).
A victim can apply for this type of visa by submitting Form I-918 (Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They will also need to submit Form I-918, Supplement B (U Nonimmigrant Status Certification), after having it signed by an authorized person at the law enforcement agency where the crime was reported. If there are any grounds for inadmissibility to the United States, the applicant can apply for a waiver of these grounds by submitting Form I-192 (Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant).
After someone’s U visa is approved, they may apply to work in the United States by filing Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization). After residing in the U.S. for at least three years under a U visa, a person can apply to become a lawful permanent resident, as long as they have not unreasonably refused to participate in the investigation or prosecution of the crimes they reported, by filing Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
Contact a Bartlett Immigration Lawyer
If you are the victim of a crime, and you are worried about your immigration status, a skilled attorney can help you report the crime to the police and work with you to help you receive a visa that will allow you to avoid deportation while protecting your safety. At Douglass & Runger, Attorneys at Law, we can provide you with the assistance you need, working with you to meet your requirements to obtain a visa and guiding you through the immigration process. Contact a Memphis immigration attorney today at 901-388- 5805.