Tag Archives: domestic abuse

Vermont Service Center Provides Guidance on VAWA I-485 Applications

In certain circumstances a Form I-360 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioner already has a Form I-130 and Form I-485 application pending with USCIS. The Vermont Service Center, who adjudicates these victim-related benefit requests, indicated that these Form I-485 adjustment of status applications can be held in abeyance if an I-360 is filed eliminating the […]

U visa, Violence Against Women Act, VAWA, Immigrant Women, Immigration Services, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, Violence

California Advances Bill to Help Immigrant Crime Victims

On Tuesday, April 21, 2015, the California Senate Public Safety Committee advanced a bill that will help undocumented immigrants in California, who are violent crime victims, apply for special U visa status to allow them to stay in the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security grants U Visa status to undocumented immigrants who […]

Q: Can an individual who has held U nonimmigrant status eventually apply for Permanent Residence (Green Card)?

A: The individual must have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least three years since the date of admission as a U Nonimmigrant. There are other minor qualifications in order to adjust status to Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder). Please contact one of our experienced Los Angeles Immigration […]

Q: Can family members of the petitioner receive U Nonimmigrant Status, as well?

A: Family members who accompany the petitioner can, under certain circumstances, obtain a U nonimmigrant derivative visa. If the petitioner (victim of crime) is under 21 years of age: They may petition on behalf of spouse, children, parents and unmarried siblings under age 18. If the petitioner (victim of crime) is 21 years of age […]

Q: Is there a cap on the number of U Nonimmigrant visas granted annually?

A: Congress determined that USCIS may grant no more than 10,000 U-1 Nonimmigrant visas in any given fiscal year (October 1 – September 30), this does not apply to derivative family members who are accompanying or following to join the principal foreign national victim. When the cap is reached, as it has been in the […]

Q: Can a foreign national petition for U Nonimmigrant Status from outside the United States?

A: Yes, USCIS has determined that the legal framework for U Nonimmigrant Status does permit foreign national victims of criminal activity to petition for such status inside and outside the United States. If not admissible to enter the United States as a foreign national, an applicant for a U visa must obtain a waiver of […]

Q: How long can one maintain the U Nonimmigrant Status?

A: U Nonimmigrant Status cannot exceed 4 years. In certain circumstances, extensions are available upon certification by a certifying agency that the foreign national’s presence in the United States is required to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity. To learn more about U Visas for victims of crimes and how […]

Q: What qualifies as a “Certifying Agency” For U Visa Certification?

A: Certifying agencies can be Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges or other authority that investigates or prosecutes criminal activity. Other agencies such as child protective services, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor also qualify as certifying agencies since they have criminal investigation jurisdiction within their respective areas of […]

Q: What prevents any Foreign National from claiming U Visa status by saying they were a victim of a crime?

A: A Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status must also contain certification of the helpfulness of the victim from a certifying agency. That means the victim must provide a U Nonimmigrant Status Certification (Form I-918, Supplement B), from a U.S. Law Enforcement agency that demonstrates the petitioner was helpful. To learn more about U Visas for […]

Q: Is there a fee for applying for U Nonimmigrant Status?

A: No, the program involves the well-being of these victims and USCIS’ decision to waive the petition fee reflects the humanitarian purposes of the law. To learn more about U Visas for victims of crimes and how our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys can help you, please visit our website.