Immigration Services - U-Visa

Immigration Services Attorney in California

Congress established the U-Visa program with the intention of aiding law enforcement agencies in their crime investigations. However, only a limited quota of 10,000 visas is allocated each year, leading to extensive waiting periods due to the high number of applicants.

The application process comprises three essential steps:
1.- The first step involves obtaining a signed Form I-918B, which must be endorsed by either a police officer, public prosecutor, or judge who was involved in the relevant criminal case. This certification serves as evidence that a qualifying crime occurred, the victim possessed valuable information for the investigation, and the victim was willing to cooperate with law enforcement—these criteria are prerequisites for applicant eligibility.

2.- Subsequently, the I-918B form must be submitted alongside the I-918 application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

3.- Once the application is approved, the beneficiary must reside within the United States for a mandatory period of three years before being eligible to apply for permanent residency.

The approval of a U-Visa affords the beneficiary several privileges, including the right to work, a social security number, the ability to apply for a driver's license, and, in certain situations, lawful exit and reentry into the United States for emergency purposes.
Additionally, victims are allowed to include their spouse and children under the age of 21 in their U-Visa applications. In the case of minor victims, they have the option to include their parents and minor siblings within their applications.
It's important to note that applicants with a history of criminal offenses, immigration fraud, or falsely claiming United States citizenship may face disqualification from the U-Visa program.