The U NonImmigrant Visa was created by Congress in 2000 as a part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act). Its main purpose is to help ensure a safe lawful status for noncitizens who are victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence, felonious assault, sexual assault and trafficking of noncitizens. One key part of the act is that the victim needs to be willing to work with law enforcement in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime.
The U Visa Application Process
To apply for U nonimmigrant status, applicants need to submit the following forms:
- Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status
- Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification. This is the form that certifies your cooperation with law enforcement. It must be signed by an authorized official of the certifying law enforcement agency, confirming that you were helpful, and currently being helpful, or will likely be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the case.
- Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant, if inadmissibility is a factor for you.
- A personal statement from you that described the crime you witnessed and were a victim of and how you suffered due to being a victim of the crime.
- Evidence to establish each eligibility requirement — visit the USCIS Forms section, to look through the Humanitarian Benefits-Based Forms.
Coverage for Other Family Members
Certain qualifying family members are eligible for a derivative U visa based on their relationship to you, the applicant. The applicant’s age is a factor in which family members are eligible to apply:
- If the applicant is under 21 years of age, he or she may petition on behalf of their spouse, children, parents and unmarried siblings under age 18.
- If the applicant is over 21 years of age, he or she may petition on behalf of their spouse and children.
To petition for a qualifying family member, you must file a Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient, at the same time as your application.
No Fees to Apply
Because of their unique circumstance, all U nonimmigrant status applications (petitions) are free. However, the Form I-192 waiver form has a fee of $930 and we encourage applicants to file for their employment authorization application as well, which has a fee of $410 per applicant.
Are you or someone you know in a situation where a U-visa might be applicable? We are here to help! Contact us today to discuss your case, with full confidentiality!