The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has recently published the U Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide. The goal of the resource guide is to give law enforcement and other certifying agencies access to helpful information regarding the best practices for the U visa certification process. The Guide will also help these agencies ensure they have the necessary resources to provide a properly completed certification for immigrant victims of crime.
Generally, immigrants seek a U visa because they have been a victim of a serious crime that resulted in substantial mental or physical abuse. However, they must first establish their eligibility via the USCIS Form I-918, Supplement B, which must then be signed by an authorized official of the certifying agency. This official must also confirm that the criminal activity occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws, the applicant is admissible to the United States under current law, and that the petitioner was helpful, is currently helpful, or will likely be helpful in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of the case.
Some of the crimes that will generally qualify for a U visa are as follows:
- Sexual Assault
- Human trafficking
- Domestic violence
- Female genital mutilation
These crimes are particularly heinous, so if you have been a victim, it is extremely important you contact your local authorities and work with them to catch whoever was responsible. Do not be afraid to do what is right.
Acting ISCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli said, of the guide, “This guide will assist law enforcement in submitting the appropriate certification required for U visas and will support efforts to bring criminals to justice and protect victims of crime by ensuring that law enforcement submits the appropriate certification, we will reduce fraud and abuse in the U visa program and more effectively adjudicate petitions for victims.”
The guide will include an overview of the best practices for certifying agencies and officials; answers to frequently asked questions from judges, prosecutors, law enforcement agencies and other officials; the U visa certification process; DHS contact information for certifying agencies on U visa issues; and training resources and opportunities.
In the past, this guide has discussed certifying procedures for both the T and U visa programs, while this publication’s sole focus is the U visa certification process. If you have any questions regarding the U visa process, please do not hesitate to reach out to our compassionate immigration firm.
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John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding immigration law matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and schedule your initial consultation with our firm today.