Applying For a U Visa in Huntsville
When a foreign national or potential immigrant suffers from crime here in the United States, they might wonder what their options are for seeking safety and justice. If an individual finds themselves in this situation, it is important for them to remember that they might be able to pursue relief in the form of a U visa. These permits are important because they grant lawful status to victims of qualifying criminal activity.
Applying for a U visa in Huntsville can be complicate since the process takes a long time. Additionally, establishing that you are eligible is often a challenge. Thankfully, if you need immediate assistance with this permit, an experienced U visa attorney could explain the stages, help you figure out if you qualify, and work to resolve any pressing complications.
Determining Eligibility for a U Visa
Before a foreign national can begin the process of applying for a U visa, they need to conclude that they are eligible for the permit. There are multiple criteria that any potential recipient must meet. First, an individual needs to demonstrate that they are the victim of qualifying violent criminal activity. Second, they must prove that they have suffered physical or psychological abuse as a result of this crime. Third, they need to reveal that they have information about the criminal activity in question – crimes that must have taken place in the U.S.
Examples of violent criminal activity that would make someone eligible to apply for a U visa include but are not limited to:
- Assault with a weapon
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault
- Extortion or blackmail
All of these instances of criminal activity are frightening, but a compassionate attorney in Huntsville could help a potential U visa applicant demonstrate that they are entitled to this special protection.
The Process of Applying for a U Visa
Generally speaking, the entire U visa application process takes about six to seven years. To begin, a foreign national can ask law enforcement or the prosecutor of the relevant crime whether they would be able to sign a document known as a U visa certification form. When an officer or prosecutor signs this paperwork, they are verifying that the applicant is a victim of qualifying criminal activity. This certification is valid for six months.
After receiving the approval of the right party, a potential immigrant can move forward to fill out and submit the U visa application packet. Along with the application, this packet also contains a waiver that asks the U.S. government to forgive any circumstances or situations that could cause immigration problems, which helps an applicant obtain lawful entry and status. A U visa petitioner needs to submit this packet within this six-month period, and after they file their application, they will wait to hear back from Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about a final decision.
After submitting, USCIS might contact a U visa applicant saying that they have meet the basic requirements and will be issued a work permit. The immigrant can use this authorization to obtain lawful employment. After around four to five years, USCIS will usually issue a final decision about the U Visa application, which, if approved, grants a four-year immigration status.
A resourceful lawyer in Huntsville could help a U visa applicant navigate all the stages of this complex and lengthy solicitation process.
How Could an Attorney Help with Requesting a U Visa?
There are many different ways that a legal representative could help the victim of qualifying criminal activity apply for a U permit. For example, a skilled attorney could prepare the evidence, gather evidence about the crime in question, and negotiate with both law enforcement and USCIS.
Having this assistance is crucial because the qualifications for a U visa can be difficult to prove. For instance, it might be challenging for an applicant to demonstrate that they definitely suffered psychological trauma as a result of the violent crime. Legal representation could help with this, along with making sure that their client adequately assists law enforcement with any ongoing criminal investigations.
If someone is applying for a U visa and has further questions about how a Huntsville attorney could help streamline the process, they should not hesitate to reach out to our firm.
Call an Attorney about Applying for a U Visa in Huntsville
U visas offer at least four years of protection to immigrants that have experienced violent crime but obtaining one can be challenging for an unrepresented foreign national. Thankfully, a hardworking lawyer could help with applying to a U visa in Huntsville. If you want to learn more about your options for seeking this versatile protection, contact the office today to schedule a consultation.