U Visas for Crime Victims
Undocumented immigrants who have been a victim of a serious crime and assist law enforcement officials may be able to obtain a U visa. This visa lasts for four years, during which time the recipient can apply for permanent residency, and includes work authorization and legal status in the United States.
To obtain a U visa, an applicant must show that she or he:
• Is a victim of an enumerated crime or “similar criminal activity”;
• Possesses useful information about the qualifying crime;
• Has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in investigation or prosecution
of an enumerated crime;
• Has suffered substantial mental or physical injury from that crime; and
• Merits a waiver of inadmissibility.
The qualifying crimes (as well as attempt, conspiracy, and solicitation relating to them) are:
The process begins with obtaining a certification from a qualified law enforcement official, followed by an application to the USCIS. USCIS makes the ultimate determination whether to grant the U Visa, but the law enforcement certification is mandatory.