Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Victims of Criminal Activity: U Nonimmigrant Status

Individuals and their families may fall victim to many types of crime in the U.S. These crimes include: rape, murder, manslaughter, domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and many others.

Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes.

U Nonimmigrant Eligibility

You may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if:

• You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity.

• You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.

• You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on your behalf.

• You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf.

• The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws

• You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant.

Qualifying Criminal Activities

• Abduction

• Abusive Sexual Content

• Blackmail

• Domestic Violence

• Extortion

• False Imprisonment

• Female Genital Mutilation

• Felonious Assault

• Hostage

• Incest

• Involuntary Servitude

• Kidnapping

• Manslaughter

• Murder

• Obstruction of Justice

• Peonage

• Perjury

• Prostitution

• Rape

• Sexual Assault

• Sexual Exploitation

• Slave Trade

• Torture

• Trafficking

• Witness Tampering

• Unlawful Criminal Restraint

Petitioning for U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa)

To petition for a U nonimmigrant status, submit:

• Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status

• Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification, on which a law enforcement official confirms that you were or will likely be helpful in the prosecution of the case

• A personal statement describing the criminal activity of which you were a victim

• Evidence to establish each eligibility requirement.

Filing for Qualifying Family Members

To petition for a qualified family member, you must file a Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Immediate Family Member of U-1 Recipient, at the same time as your application or at a later time.

No comments: