What do you do if you are a victim of a violent crime as an undocumented person living in the United States? People in this position fear having any contact with the police because they are worried about being turned over to ICE. So, they do nothing... When they do nothing, the perpetrator faces no consequences. To encourage victims of violent crimes to come forward about what happened to them without fear of deportation, Congress has created the U Visa.
U Visas are an incredible opportunity in the wake of a severe and traumatizing experience. However, many people are unaware of them. If you are an undocumented person living in the US who was a victim of a violent crime, then you may qualify for a U Visa.
What Is a U Visa?
A U Visa is type of visa offered in exchange for assisting law enforcement in pursuing violent offenders. This visa:
Am I Eligible?
To be eligible, you must have been a victim of a “qualifying crime.” There are several crimes that USCIS will grant you a U Visa for, including felonious assault, rape, and murder. Furthermore, USCIS wants to see that you will cooperate with law enforcement to detect, investigate, and prosecute the criminal. U Visas are designed to help you come forward and help law enforcement. By assisting with the investigation, police will sign off on a document that states you were a victim of a violent crime and you were working with law enforcement officers so they can detain the person who harmed you.
It is important to note that law enforcement is not responsible for determining whether the undocumented person is eligible to receive a U Visa. Ultimately, this decision is left to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), but law enforcement provides them with the relevant information confirming the person helped them with the case.
Talk To a Qualified Crimmigration Attorney Today
When you have a U Visa, you are protected from being deported, and you get justice for the crime committed against you. Obtaining one is a long process that can take up to 5-6 years. This is mainly due to how many people apply for them. If you have been a victim of a crime and are justifiably scared, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at STERN Law, LLC. Something traumatic has happened to you, and you do not need to hide.
After the police and the district attorney sign off on the documentation, get the U Visa application process initiated immediately. You have six months to start the process. Contact the attorneys at STERN Law, LLC, to schedule your consultation today.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.