GREEN CARD through
Victim of a Crime? You May Be Entitled to a Green Card through a U-Visa.
When am I eligible to receive a U-visa?
The crime that can make you eligible for a U visa are:
Abusive sexual assault
Female genital mutilation
Being held hostage
Making you pay a debt with work (peonage)
Fraud in foreign labor contracting
Obstruction of Justice
Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above-mentioned crimes
You may be eligible to receive a U-visa when:
You were a victim of a crime that violated U.S law
You suffered physical or mental damages or abuse as a result of a crime
You were helpful to law enforcement in providing information about the crime or are likely to be helpful in the future
The Law Enforcement agency involved in investigating the crime that you complained about signed a Certification confirming that you are a victim and that you cooperated with law enforcement by providing information about the crime.
How does a U-visa affect my status in the United States?
After your U-visa application is filed with the USCIS, you are allowed to stay in the United States while your U-visa application is being reviewed regardless of your immigration status in the United States and regardless of how you entered the United States until a decision is made on your U-visa.
However, if you entered the U.S. illegally, you would need to apply for a special waiver.
What kind of information about the crime is sufficient?
Generally, whatever information may be needed to reasonably start an investigation would be sufficient. For example, if a police report is filed, generally, this may be the start of your U-visa case.
What if the perpetrators are not found, are not persecuted, or are not found guilty?
Your U-visa does not depend on the actions of law enforcement in locating or prosecuting the criminals. It only depends on whether or not the investigation starts.
If the police report or other similar document is filed, this is usually sufficient.
What kind of crimes would qualify for a U-visa?
Generally, any crime that violates the law of the state where the crime occurred, or Federal law qualifies.
Also, not all crimes are physical. Some crimes involve threats or fraud.
For example, impersonating a lawyer or performing legal work without a license is often a crime.
Some of these lawyer impersonators are convicted and sent to jail.
Many immigrants fall victim to such unlicensed impersonators.
What if I am in a removal (deportation) proceeding?
The U-visa application actually serves as a defense to removal (deportation). Therefore, you may file for a U-visa regardless of the immigration court proceedings.