Huntsville U Visa Lawyer
Among many specialized visa categories, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers nonimmigrant status in the form of U visas to qualifying victims of severe crimes. Current federal policy only makes 10,000 of these permits available each year. Even with the new Bona Fide Determination process established in 2021, there is still a substantial backlog of U visa applications that could significantly impact a potential immigrant’s chances of entering the country.
If you are the survivor of a life-threatening crime and hope to immigrate into the U.S., a Huntsville U visa lawyer could be a powerful ally. With guidance and support from a compassionate visa attorney, you could ensure your initial petition is airtight and progresses efficiently through the various stages of the U visa application process.
Who Can Apply for a U Visa?
A foreign national becomes eligible for non-immigrant protection through a U visa if they can demonstrate that:
- They are the victim of “qualifying criminal activity,” which includes most major felony offenses defined under state and federal laws, as well as certain wrongs like domestic violence
- The criminal activity in question occurred inside U.S. borders
- They experienced “substantial physical or mental abuse” because of the crime
- They, or a parent, guardian, or close friend have information about the criminal activity that would prove valuable to law enforcement
- They are willing to assist or have already aided law enforcement with investigating and/or prosecuting the individuals who harmed them
- They are not inadmissible to the U.S. based on the criteria outlined in 8 U.S.C. §1182
If someone meets all qualifications for a U visa but is ineligible based on inadmissibility, a resourceful attorney could help them file Form I-192 to potentially acquire a waiver. In general, a knowledgeable lawyer in Huntsville could help a potential immigrant determine whether they are eligible to apply for a U visa.
How to Submit a U Visa Petition
To start the U visa application process, applicants must submit Form I-918, the Supplement B of Form I-918 with a law enforcement official’s signature, a personal statement explaining how the criminal activity impacted them, and documents establishing that they meet the eligibility criteria. If applicable, a U visa applicant can petition for nonimmigrant status on behalf of certain close family members through Supplement A of Form I-918.
Once granted, the nonimmigrant status associated with a U visa lasts four years, with extensions only available in cases involving processing delays or a specific law enforcement request. Once someone resides in the U.S. for three years through a valid U visa, they might be eligible to apply for a green card and obtain lawful permanent resident status. A seasoned attorney in Huntsville could help the survivor of a severe crime overcome any complications while applying for a U visa.
Talk to a Huntsville U Visa Attorney Today
Acquiring a U visa after suffering from severe crime can be a time-consuming and complicated endeavor, even if you fulfill every prerequisite for this type of legal nonimmigrant status. Things can become even more challenging if you face inadmissibility or have yet to assist law enforcement with investigating the relevant crime.
Fortunately, a Huntsville U visa lawyer could protect your rights as the victim of a severe crime and help keep your application on track. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.