1. Are you tolerating and not reporting physical abuse and criminal violence committed against you out of the fear of being deported by Immigration authorities because you are undocumented? If so don’t be scared to take action for your safety.

 The U-Visa grants a non-immigrant status to victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse. A victim of domestic violence qualifies for a U-visa if:

  1. The victim has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity.
  2. The victim had been helpful, or is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. For instance, reporting domestic violence to police and helping the D.A. prosecute your abuser.

The U-Visa confers the following types of benefits:

  • It allows you to legally live in the United States for four years.
  • With a U-Visa you can get permission to work in the United States.
  • Your family members might also be able to get a U-Visa as derivate beneficiaries.
  • With a U-Visa you might be eligible for certain public benefits in some states.

The U-Visa application takes about 6-9 months to process. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

  • How to file: Foreign national victims of crime must file a, Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status. The form requests information regarding the petitioner’s eligibility for such status, as well as admissibility to the United States. Currently, USCIS has designated its Vermont Service Center as the centralized location to receive all U nonimmigrant petitions.
  • The cap pf U-Visas given per year: USCIS may grant no more than 10,000 U-1 nonimmigrant visas in any given fiscal year (October 1 through September 30). However if the cap is reached in the fiscal year before your petitions is adjudicated, the petitioner is assigned to the waiting list will be given deferred action or parole while they are on the waiting list. Therefore, they will be eligible to apply for employment authorization or travel until their petitions can be adjudicated after the start of the following fiscal year.