If you have been the victim of a crime and currently have undocumented status in the United States, there may be options for you to obtain legal status if you have helped law enforcement investigate an offense. An experienced attorney could sit with you to review the visa options for victims of crimes in Doraville and inform you of the various requirements you must meet. If you are weary of speaking with law enforcement, a lawyer could act as an advocate on your behalf, especially when obtaining documents or signatures from the local police department. Call today for more insight.
Different Types of Visas Victims of Crimes can Receive in the United States?
There are two types of visas available to victims of crime in the United States. One is called the U visa. This type of visa is available to anyone who is the victim of a crime. This visa does not take into account the relationship between the victim and the suspect or aggressor. The other type of visa is known as the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA). This visa is for spouses, parents, and children of US citizens or permanent residents that have been abused, verbally or physically by that lawful permanent resident or US citizen. Although the name of the visa is “Violence Against Women’s Act” , a VAWA visa is available to males and females.
Process for Obtaining a Visa if an Individual is the Victim of a Crime
When trying to determine whether a person should apply for a U visa or petition for VAWA, it is important to first analyze the relationship between the aggressor and the victim. If the victim suffered a crime by a lawful permanent resident and the victim related to them by either being their spouse, child, or parent, it is recommended the victim seek legal status through VAWA. This is because once the VAWA petition is approved, the victim can immediately apply for lawful permanent resident status. On the other hand, if a person is approved for a U visa, the victim must wait three years after being approved for a U Visa before they could file for lawful permanent resident status.
Difference Between a U Visa and Asylum Protection
The main difference between a U visa and asylum protection is that asylum protection is for people who suffered persecution outside the United States or are likely to suffer persecution outside the United States. To obtain asylum protection, they must demonstrate that they are actively being persecuted in their county for their race, religion, sexual orientation, and/or political beliefs. On the other hand, the U visa focuses specifically on victims of crimes in the United States. It is worth noting that individuals seeking asylum may also very well have been victims of crimes as well, but instead of applying for the U visa, they would apply for asylum protection instead.
For More Insight, Schedule a Consultation
If you have suffered a crime and are seeking to obtain legal status after helping law enforcement investigate the offense that did you harm, you should speak with an attorney to learn more about visa options for victims of crimes in Doraville. A lawyer could help you with determining whether a U visa or a petition for VAWA would best fit your needs. If by chance you or a loved one is seeking asylum protection, an attorney could also provide more information regarding that process. Call today to begin discussing the options available to you.