To start applying for a U visa, a Charlotte resident must obtain a certificate: supplement B of form I-918. This document certifies that the applicant suffered a qualifying criminal offense and was helpful in assisting law enforcement with the investigation.
This document gets signed either by law enforcement or by the relevant DA, depending on whether the criminal defendant was actually charged with a crime. Obtaining certification from a DA can be a challenging and lengthy process, as a DA typically won’t certify supplement B unless a criminal case is adjudicated and finished. It often takes upwards of a year for this to happen. Meanwhile, getting supplement B certified by law enforcement before a case is charged is typically easier and faster, as the case will transfer to a U visa certifying unit.
After getting their Supplement B certified, a prospective U visa recipient can begin the process of getting their application with USCIS started. A knowledgeable team member could answer questions about this process and help make sure your application is on the right track
Applying From Outside the U.S.
If a foreign national intends to apply for a U visa from outside the United States, there are some things they should understand. They need to obtain an “advanced permission” to enter the country as a non-immigrant, which an experienced lawyer could help with.
Additionally, even though the applicant is outside of the U.S., they need to demonstrate that the criminal activity they experienced violated U.S. law. For instance, if an applicant was hired to work in the country and their job changed significantly upon arrival, they can likely qualify for a U visa. If you need guidance while applying for a U visa from outside the U.S., our Charlotte team could help.