U Visas: What and Why?

U Visas, also known as green cards, offer a special opportunity for nonimmigrant individuals who have experienced mental or physical abuse due to certain crimes. If you’ve been a victim, our team of U visa lawyers in Chicago are here to support you. We’ll thoroughly evaluate your situation to determine your eligibility and guide you through the U visa application process. Our compassionate U visa attorneys understand the complex emotions and trauma that survivors face, and we’ll stand by your side every step of the way. Let us help you secure the protection and justice you deserve.

What is a U Visa?

The U nonimmigrant visa offers hope and justice to victims of specified mental or physical abuse, empowering them to help US law enforcement prosecute criminal activities. Created by Congress in October 2000, this visa aims to provide a safe platform for victims of heinous crimes, such as human trafficking, sexual assault, and physical abuse, to come forward and share their stories with law enforcement authorities.

Sadly, many victims find it difficult to approach authorities due to fears of deportation or detainment, especially when they lack legal immigrant status. This unfortunate reality allows criminals who target undocumented immigrants to evade punishment, leaving immigrant communities vulnerable to crime.

However, with the U nonimmigrant visa, we strive to change this narrative by encouraging victims to step forward and work with law enforcement. By sharing their experiences, survivors have the opportunity to strengthen investigations and build strong cases against criminal activity.

Together, we can create a safer and more just society, where no victim feels silenced and every criminal faces the consequences of their actions.

Who Qualifies?

To be eligible for a U Nonimmigrant Visa, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • You were or are a victim of criminal activities qualified by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Your victimization in a crime involved suffering significant physical or mental abuse
  • You can provide information about the criminal activity of which you were a victim. There are exceptions if you are under 16 years old where a close third party can inform about the crime on your behalf
  • You can help law enforcement in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime, proven via a Law Enforcement Certification
  • The crime that happened to you occurred in the United States or violated U.S. law
  • You are admissible to the United States. If you are inadmissible, speak with your U visa lawyer about steps to take.

Qualifying Criminal Activities

If you have been affected by or fallen victim to any of the crimes listed below, don’t miss the chance to connect with a U visa lawyer. Below are the activities that qualify you to get a U Visa.

  • Abduction
  • Abusive sexual contact
  • Domestic violence
  • Extortion
  • False imprisonment
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Hostage
  • Involuntary servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Slave trade
  • Stalking
  • Torture
  • Unlawful criminal restraints
  • Other related crimes

Certifications for U Visa Applicants

To kickstart the process, you’ll need a law enforcement certification. Get ready to fill out Form I-918B, which serves as confirmation that you’re a victim of a qualifying crime and are willing to cooperate with investigations and/or prosecutions. Don’t sweat it though – the perpetrator doesn’t necessarily need to be convicted for you to qualify or complete the USCIS form. What really matters is that you show your willingness to help and have already been cooperative with United States investigations or prosecutions. Just remember, the form must be signed by a member of a law enforcement agency.

Now, let’s talk about the tricky part: getting that precious law enforcement certification signed. It If you’re searching for a U visa lawyer near you, look no further. The knowledgeable lawyers at Francis Law Center are available both in person and over the phone to guide you through the ins and outs of filling out your certification. Keep in mind that the authority who signs your certificate varies depending on your state, town, and district. Beware of pesky hurdles that some law enforcement agencies might erect in their policies, potentially disqualifying you based on your location. With an experienced immigration attorney by your side, you can confidently navigate any barriers that may arise on your path to obtaining your U visa.