U visas serve as powerful immigration permits that are designed to protect victims of qualifying criminal activity from future harm. This special status is crucial because it offers extended safety and might even allow a foreign national to seek citizenship in the future.
This immigration authorization features a few factors that are worth examining, and a knowledgeable lawyer could outline the unique aspects of U visas in Huntsville. For instance, these permits differ from asylum in that they protect people who experienced violence here in the United States. Some other details set this immigration permit apart, as a legal representative could explain.
To begin, U visas take a while to obtain. After a foreign national determines that they meet the basic requirements they need to apply for the visa. Afterward, they should receive temporary work permit while they wait to hear back. In most cases, it usually takes about five years for the government to process someone’s U visa application.
When a foreign national finally does receive their permit, it will be valid for four years. After living with the authorization for three years, an immigrant can move forward to apply for lawful permanent residency. If an individual has not received their residency for some qualifying reason, they can request an extension of their U permit beyond these for years, giving them more time to determine their next steps.
Unfortunately, U visas are subject to restrictions on the number of permits that can be granted each year. Current immigration laws establish that only 10,000 applicants can receive a U visa annually. This means that there is usually a long wait.
If the government approves a foreign national’s initial U visa application after the yearly cap has been reached, the immigrant will be issued what is known as a deferred action. When this happens, an applicant can stay and work in the U.S. without any danger of removal.
If a potential U visa recipient has further questions about the duration, yearly caps, or any of these other unique factors, they should consult a hardworking attorney in Huntsville.
Compared to other immigration authorizations, U visas certainly offer some unique benefits. The first noteworthy perk is that these permits offer work authorization, which helps pending applicants get their lives in the U.S. started. A second benefit is that these visas offer lawful entry into the country, helping avoid inadmissibility allegations. The permits even forgive multiple instances of unlawful entry.
Someone granted a U visa could potentially obtain citizenship, but they need to first meet several different eligibility criteria. For example, they need to make sure that they do not have a history of criminal activity or illegal immigration that would act as a barrier to naturalization.
If a person does qualify for citizenship, they can apply for naturalization after living on their U visa for three years and their lawful permanent residency for five. This is a powerful option that should not be underestimated. A dedicated lawyer in Huntsville could assess a U visa recipient’s unique circumstance to determine whether they will be eligible for future citizenship.
If you qualify for a U visa but want to learn more about the details of the authorization, you are not alone. There are many things that make these permits special, so do not hesitate to reach out to a seasoned lawyer about the unique aspects of U visas in Huntsville. A skilled team member could analyze your case, answer any questions, and help you begin the application process. Call today to get started.