The U.S. Congress implemented the U Visa program to encourage undocumented immigrants who are victims of certain types of crimes to assist law enforcement authorities in the prosecution of those crimes. Without the protections that the U Visa provides, it is believed that immigrants would be less likely to report crimes out of fear that their interaction with law enforcement would result in their deportation.
The Florida family immigration lawyers at Bassey Immigration Law Center encourage immigrant crime victims to look into their eligibility to apply for a U Visa if they have been victimized by criminal activity. Unscrupulous criminals often prey on the fears of undocumented immigrants. The intent of a U Visa is to eliminate those fears and to extend protection against criminal activity to the immigrant community.
When is an immigrant victim eligible to apply for a U Visa?
To apply for a U Visa, immigrants need to demonstrate that:
- They were a victim of abduction, abusive sexual contact, domestic violence, extortion, felonious assault, or another qualifying crime
- The crime caused substantial physical or mental abuse
- They can produce credible and reliable evidence of the crime
- Their assistance will be helpful to law enforcement authorities investigating the crime, as verified by a Law Enforcement Certification
- The crime at issue constituted a violation of a law in the United States
It may not be clear to you whether all of these elements apply to your case. An immigrant who is not sure if he or she qualifies for a U Visa should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer for a determination of their eligibility.
How can an immigrant get the Law Enforcement Certification that is required to apply for a U Visa?
In addition to the U Visa application, an immigrant that is seeking a U Visa will need to submit a completed USCIS Form I-918B with a valid signature from an authorized law enforcement officer to attest that the immigrant’s assistance will help law enforcement prosecute the alleged criminal activity. This form is frequently the most challenging part of the U Visa application because each sheriff’s office or police department imposes different standards for completing and signing this form.
Immigrants who are unwilling or unable to complete this form on their own should retain an immigration attorney for assistance.
Need Assistance With Your U Visa Application? Contact Bassey Immigration Law Center
Proving that you qualify for a U Visa and can provide all of the supporting documentation it requires can be overwhelming. The naturalization and immigration attorneys at Bassey Immigration Law Center help immigrants through every step of the U Visa application process.