Montgomery U Visa Lawyer
Being the victim of a severe crime can be a traumatizing experience. Fortunately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created a special type of permit called a U visa that provides lawful nonimmigrant status to victims of traumatizing criminal activity. First established by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act that Congress passed in 2000, these visas help protect around 10,000 qualifying recipients from unlawful mistreatment and abuse.
Anyone hoping to apply for a nonimmigrant U visa must meet several prerequisites and provide conclusive evidence about the criminal acts they experienced. If you want to apply for one of these permits, a Montgomery U visa lawyer could help you meet all the requirements and file your petition successfully. Furthermore, a knowledgeable visa attorney could answer any remaining questions about the process.
Who is Eligible for a U Visa?
First and foremost, a U visa applicant must have experienced significant physical or mental harm due to “qualifying criminal activity” that occurred within United States borders and violated federal law. Common criminal offenses that entitle an immigrant for a U visa include:
- Abduction, kidnapping, and unlawful criminal restraint
- Various forms of sexual assault, including childhood sexual abuse, incest, and female genital mutilation
- Felony assault, torture, manslaughter, or murder
- Domestic violence
- Human trafficking, involuntary servitude, or peonage
- Witness tampering
Additionally, a U visa applicant must have relevant information about the criminal activity and assist, plan to assist, or have already aided law enforcement with investigating the relevant offenses. If an applicant is under 16, a parent, guardian, or friend can fulfill this requirement on their behalf.
Finally, an applicant must not be inadmissible to the United States based on current USCIS policy or and federal law. For instance, anyone considered a threat to national security would not be eligible to apply for a U visa.
A diligent attorney in Montgomery could help the victim of a violent crime file Form I-918 to petition for a U visa, and, if necessary, seek a waiver for inadmissibility by filing Form I-192.
What Is the Bona Fide Determination Process?
On June 14, 2021, USCIS introduced a policy update called the Bona Fide Determination process to help individuals who qualified for U visas but were impacted by unusual administration delays or wait lists. After this implementation, individuals with pending visa applications who meet all the criteria for protected immigration might be able to use this process to obtain both employment authorization and deferred action.
To qualify for this new procedure, potential U visa recipients must have “bona fide” petitions, meaning that they submitted their requests in good faith and without any intent to deceive the U.S. government. Applicants must also have law enforcement certify that the immigrant has already helped or will help investigate the serious crime. A diligent lawyer in Montgomery could answer any further questions about the new policy and help a U visa applicant determine whether they are eligible for Bona Fide Determination.
Retain a Montgomery U Visa Attorney Today
While U visas can play a crucial role in protecting victims of criminal activity from further abuse, they can also be challenging to obtain. Without professional legal guidance, you might struggle with procedural obstacles or have USCIS reject your application.
Fortunately, a seasoned Montgomery U visa lawyer could make all the difference in your case. A skilled attorney could assess your situation and outline your options moving forward. Call the office to learn more.