Up to 10, 000 U visas are issued annually. These visas are nonimmigrant visas, designed to help those who have been the victim of a crime. The U visa was first created via the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act, which first came into law in October 2000. The purpose of the visa is to help non-citizens of the US. It is designed to help victims of crime and is designed to help reward anyone who is helping or may be helpful to a crime investigation.
These visas help give victims of crime a fresh start by granting temporary work authorization and legal status (for up to four years) for victims. Victims with a U visa may live and work in the US for up to four years, which gives them a chance to start over and start to recover from the trauma of their crime. The U visa can also give authorization for the victim’s immediate family.
To apply for a U visa, you must file Form I-918 with the USCIS, either online or through the mail via the USCIS Vermont Service Center. To be eligible for the U visa, you must have suffered significant mental or physical trauma due to a serious crime, such as trafficking, torture, rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, false imprisonment, involuntary servitude, incest, domestic violence, prostitution, hostage situations, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, peonage, slave labor or trade, abduction, criminal restraint, blackmail, murder, assault, witness tampering, extortion, manslaughter, obstruction of justice, perjury or attempt, conspiracy.
In order to be the eligible for a U visa, you must be willing to work with US officials and authorities to gain more information about the crime or in order to persecute the crime. In fact, in order to file your U visa petition correctly, your Form I-918 must provide details as to how you can help the US investigate or gain information about the crime. In order to be eligible for a U visa, the crime must have taken place in a US territory ore in the US. The crime must also violate U.S. laws.
When applying for a U visa, your Form I-918 must be certified by a local law enforcement authority or by a state or federal authority. For example, you may have your form certified by a state or federal judge who is in charge of the case. You may not submit a U visa application without this certification. In order to get this certification, the victim of the crime must be willing to cooperate with officials in solving the crime. The certification can be withdrawn for a U visa application if the victim refuses to cooperate at any point.