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Our Immigration Law Blog

By The Grotas Firm, PC

Top 3 Questions About U Visas

Congress created a new category of visas to help immigrants who are the victims of a crime. This category was created because Congress feared that immigrants would be afraid to come forward and assist the police.

In order to apply for a U visa then you must show that you:

  1. Must be victim of a certain type of criminal activity. Not every type of crime qualifies for a U visa.
  2. Have suffered substantial physical or psychological harm as a result of that criminal activity.   This can be shown with photos of physical injuries. It can also be shown with affidavits from friends or family members who witnessed the crime. Additionally,  a medical professional can write a report detailing the harm.
  3. Must assist law enforcement in the prosecution of the defendant of this criminal activity.  You must cooperate with the police who are investigating the crime and the district attorneys office who is prosecuting the crime. The police or the district attorney, or the judge MUST sign a certification.

Top 3 U Visas Questions

1. What if I was the victim of a crime and I was already deported?

If someone is eligible for a U visa, then they can also apply for a waiver for almost any immigration or criminal law violation. I have successfully received U visas for clients with orders of deportation, criminal arrests, and criminal convictions. Many times, the U visa is an immigrants only option to remain in America.

2. How do you prove that you were the victim of a crime?

The certifying official must provide a certification that you were the victim of a crime who was assisting the  police and prosecutors.  I have worked with many of the law enforcement agencies within New York State to receive U visa certifications. This a critical part of the case because without the U visa certification then you can not apply for a U visa.

3. What happens if the District Attorney or the Police will not sign the  U Visa Certification?

Without the U visa certification, you can not apply for a U visa. Some District Attorney’s offices will not sign a  U visa certification until the criminal case has concluded. Some Police departments will not sign a U visa certification under any circumstances. The criminal court judge in the proceedings can sign a U visa certification.

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