U Visas; INA §101(a)(15)(U)

The U Visa is available to certain victims of crimes. The U Visa allows temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for up to four years. The U Visa is a non immigrant visa available to 10,000 people per year.

An applicant must show:

    • She or he has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of qualifying criminal activity
    • Possesses credible and reliable in that he or she has knowledge of the details concerning the qualifying criminal activity upon which his or her petition is based
    • Has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a certifying agency in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity; and
  • The qualifying criminal activity occurred in the U.S., in U.S. territories or possessions, or violated a U.S. federal law that provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction

Qualifying Criminal Activity (one or more of the following or any similar activities in violation of federal, state, or local criminal laws:

    • Abduction
    • Blackmail
    • Domestic violence
    • Extortion
    • False imprisonment
    • Felonious assault
    • Female genital mutilation
    • Hostage
    • Incest
    • Involuntary servitude
    • Kidnapping
    • Manslaughter
    • Murder
    • Obstruction of justice
    • Peonage
    • Perjury
    • Prostitution
    • Rape sexual assault
    • Sexual contact
    • Sexual exploitation
    • Slave trade
    • Torture
    • Trafficking
    • Unlawful criminal restraint
    • Witness tampering
    • Attempt, Conspiracy or solicitation

T Visas; INA § 101(a)(15)(T)

T Visa allows certain victims of human trafficking to remain in the United States if they agree to assist law enforcement in testifying against the perpetrators. A total of 500 T visas are available per year.

T Visas are available to persons who:

    • who have been subject to severe trafficking (the use of force, fraud, or coercion for sex trafficking or involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery)
    • who are physically present in the U.S.
    • who are physically present in the U.S.
    • who the Attorney General and the Secretary of DHS agree have complied with a reasonable request by Federal, State or Local law enforcement authorities to assist in the investigation or persecution of such trafficking or in the investigation of crimes where acts of trafficking are at least one central reason for the crime; and
  • who would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal

Laws that Enacted Provisions for Victims of Domestic Violence

    • Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
    • Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000
    • Torture Victims Relief Reauthorization Act of 2003
    • Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003
  • Violence against Women and DOJ Reauthorization Act of 2005