Virgnia U Visa Lawyer

A U visa can provide a positive outcome to a painful situation. With a U visa, the victims of certain crimes gain permission to live and work in the U.S. for up to four years, and the ability to apply for lawful permanent resident status, also known as a Green Card. Benefits may extend to family members as well.

Only a limited number of U visas are granted each year, however. Those waiting for a decision on a U visa application may be able to gain authorization to wait in the U.S. Because of the competition to obtain a U visa, it a good idea to ensure that application requirements are fully met and that you avoid actions which can delay or jeopardize approval of your application.

Many applicants find it helpful to work with a seasoned Virginia U visa lawyer. A knowledgeable visa lawyer could oversee the application process, investigate delays, assist in seeking a U visa extension, or help with obtaining a Green Card for yourself or a family member.

Understanding a U Visa

The U.S. government issues two types of visas — temporary nonimmigrant visas and permanent immigrant visas which enable a holder to obtain a Green Card and live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. Although a U visa is classified as a nonimmigrant visa, it can be used to help obtain an immigrant visa and permanent residence, so this type of temporary visa is highly in demand.

U visas are available to crime victims who are able to assist law enforcement officials investigating or prosecuting certain types of criminal activity. Qualifying family members may be eligible to receive a derivative U visa. After a U visa holder has lived in the U.S. for three years, the holder may be eligible to apply for a Green Card.

Qualifying for a U Visa

There are several criteria an applicant must meet to qualify for a U visa. The most unique of these criteria is that the applicant must be the victim of a particular type of criminal activity. The government maintains a lengthy list of qualifying crimes which includes:

  • Human trafficking/slave trade/prostitution
  • Domestic violence/stalking
  • Rape/sexual assault
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Involuntary servitude
  • Abduction/kidnapping
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Felony assault/attempted murder

Suffering from an attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a qualifying crime will also make a victim eligible for a U visa. However, all victims must suffer substantial physical or mental abuse from the criminal activity to qualify for a U visa.

Additionally, the victim of the crime must have information about the criminal activity and be willing and able to help law enforcement officials investigate or prosecute the crime. Finally, the criminal activity must have either occurred in the U.S. or violated U.S. laws. For more information about qualifying, contact a U visa lawyer in Virginia.

Consult with a Dedicated Virginia U Visa Attorney

Through the U visa program, the U.S. government seeks to help victims of crime and further the prosecution of criminal activity to prevent harm in the future. Because this visa program has proven so popular, rules regarding the program have changed and may be amended again in the near future.

It can be very helpful to work with a knowledgeable Virginia U visa lawyer who understands the requirements and knows how to take advantage of the latest opportunities provided by changes in the laws. An immigration lawyer may also help apply for a waiver if you are currently considered inadmissible or need help with an adjustment of status application once you obtain a U visa. Call now to learn how a visa attorney could assist in your situation.