The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act was passed into law in 2000. Among other things, this legislation created the U visa. Limited to 10,000 total applicants per year, the U visa offers noncitizen victims of crime immigration protection if they are willing to cooperate with law enforcement.
At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, our compassionate immigration lawyers are committed to assisting victims with their U visa applications. If you or a loved one qualifies for this type of immigration relief, please do not hesitate to contact our top-rated Chicago U visa lawyers for immediate assistance with your case.
U Visa Eligibility: Explained
U visas are only available to people who have been the victims of a serious crime. To qualify for a U visa, the following five things are required:
- The applicant must have been a victim of a crime;
- The crime in question must qualify for relief under the act;
- The applicant must have been subjected to serious physical or mental abuse as part of the criminal act;
- The applicant must have credible information regarding the crime; and
- The applicant must have been helpful to American law enforcement or must be likely to be helpful to law enforcement official at some point in the future.
What Types of ‘Criminal Activity’ Qualify?
There are many different types of crimes that qualify for relief under the U visa program. Some of the most common examples include:
- False imprisonment;
- Domestic violence;
- Sexual violence;
- Prostitution; and
- Human trafficking.
The Benefits of Obtaining a U Visa
If you are issued a U visa, you will have the legal authority to live and work within the United States for as long as you retain the visa. This in itself is a very valuable benefit. Additionally, a U visa can be used as a path to American citizenship. After three years of living in the U.S. with this type of visa, you can apply for a green card. Finally, U visa holders are able to bring certain family members over to the United States. Specifically, a U visa holder may be able to bring their children and spouse into the United States. Family members of U visa holders who come to the U.S. are able to file an application to receive authorization to work in the country.
Contact Our Office Today
At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, our Illinois immigration lawyers have extensive experience handling U visa cases. If you or a loved one was a victim of crime and are now seeking immigration relief in the form of a U visa, we can help. Please call us today at (312) 332-2550 to get immediate legal assistance.