What are the requirements to apply for the U Visa?

The U Visa – A Pathway to Residency for Certain Crime Victims and Their Family Members

For many undocumented immigrants in the United States, living in the shadows involves fearing the police due to the possibility that a police officer may call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to report them. As a result, immigrants that are victims of crime are afraid to report the crimes against them. Consequently, criminals are not punished and the crime goes unpunished.

In 2000, Congress decided to create and pass the U Visa to motivate immigrants to report crimes to the police without fear of being reported to ICE in order to reduce crime in their communities. An immigrant who is granted the U Visa as a principal applicant or as derivative will be granted legal status and a work permit for a period of four years. After three years of continuous physical presence in the US with the U Visa, the immigrant will be eligible to apply for legal residency.

How can you qualify?

To qualify for the U Visa, the immigrant must first prove the following:

  1. That you have been the victim of one of the eligible crimes.
  2. That you have suffered physical or mental abuse as a victim of the crime.
  3. The immigrant must have information about the crime (police report).
  4. Cooperate with the investigation.
  5. The crime must have occurred in the US, or it must have violated US laws.

The most common eligible U Visa crimes are domestic violence, assault with a weapon, and sexual assault. However, there are 28 crimes eligible for the U Visa.

What crimes qualify for the U Visa?

  • Abduction
  • Abusive Sexual Contact
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extortion
  • False Imprisonment
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Felonious Assault
  • Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
  • Hostage
  • Incest
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Slave Trade
  • Stalking
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Witness Tampering
  • Unlawful Criminal Restraint
  • Other Related Crimes*†

*Includes any similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially similar.

†Also includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above.

What is the first step to start the U Visa application?  

  1. The first thing is to get the police report.
  2. Next, you must request the signature from the police department that took the police report for the U Certification. The police department checks to see if the crime is under the list of crimes that qualify for the U Visa and if you cooperated with the investigation.
  3. Upon obtaining the signature for the U Certification, you have 6 months to submit your application for the U Visa. It is very important to gather all the necessary documents to submit your application on time. We recommend that you speak with an immigration attorney.

If you would like to know if you qualify, don’t hesitate and call Franco Law Group. Our attorneys have experience submitting strong U Visa applications. With that said, for the month of November and December we are offering 25% off if you retain our office to request the U Certification if you have the police report. Call us today at 213.200.1505 to schedule your appointment.

300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan at the brink of losing their Temporary Protective Status (T.P.S) in the United States

Recent News

On Monday, September 14, 2020, a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came to the conclusion that the Trump administration has the right to end the Temporary Protective Status for over 300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan. This means that 300,000 immigrants are at risk of deportation in 2021.

What is TPS?

Congress created TPS in the Immigration Act of 1990. It is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of specifically designated countries that are confronting an ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. It provides a work permit and stay of deportation to foreign nationals from those countries who are in the United States at the time the U.S. government makes the designation.

For decades each administration has allowed and extended the TPS designation to individuals living in the United States from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan due to the current country conditions. In doing so, immigrant families have been able to remain legally in the United States while establishing their lives and roots here. They have contributed to society and not to mention they have started their families here.

Now the question is, what happens next?

It is possible that the Trump administration may automatically deport those that have had a prior deportation order or have been detained at the border.

For those that have not been detained at the border nor have a prior deportation order, may be placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge.

Another possibility is that a TPS beneficiary can possibly be eligible to apply for their residency (“adjustment of status”) via a child that is a United States Citizen, 21 years or older or are married to a United States Citizen spouse. They may be eligible only if they live in the 9th circuit or 6th circuit, which includes the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

If you have TPS and are from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, or Sudan, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney to determine how you can prevent your deportation.

At Franco Law Group, we have experienced attorneys that are ready to help. For the month of September we are offering free consultation for individuals that have TPS. Call us today at (213)200-1505 to schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys.