First created as part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act passed by Congress in 2000, U visas are meant to serve the dual purpose of protecting vulnerable people from serious criminal activity and facilitating the prosecution of criminals known to take advantage of undocumented immigrants. To be eligible for a U visa, an immigrant must have experienced at least one of the following crimes:
- Abduction, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and hostage-taking
- Rape/sexual assault or abusive sexual contact, including female genital mutilation and incest
- Human trafficking, including sex trafficking
- Blackmail and extortion
- Felony assault
- Manslaughter and murder
- Perjury, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering
Additionally, to be a candidate for a u visa, an immigrant must have information about the criminal activity in question that would be helpful to law enforcement and/or prosecutors. They also must be willing to assist with an ensuing criminal investigation and/or prosecution. Finally, applicants must not be inadmissible to the United States based on any of the criteria listed under 8 U.S. Code §1182.
If you believe you qualify for a U visa, a knowledgeable attorney in Charlotte could assess your situation and help you get started on the application process.
U Visas as a Pathway to Permanent Residency.
There are numerous forms and documents involved in the U visa application process, including Form I-918, supplements signed by law enforcement affirming that the applicant has already helped or will help in the future with investigation or prosecution, a personal statement describing the negative impact of the specified criminal activity on the applicant, and evidence to support claims made in other forms. A U visa lawyer in Charlotte could help you handle all these steps or apply through consular processing if you are outside the U.S.