What is a U visa?

When individuals are involved in a crime by being a victim of that crime, they may be able to acquire a U visa. If individuals do not have status as a permanent resident in the United States, they may be able to acquire it after they cooperate with law enforcement agencies. U visas are reserved for individuals that have been a victim of a crime. They have usually suffered physically or emotionally due to this crime against them. However, if they are a key witness and law enforcement needs their testimony to prosecute the criminals, they can obtain a U visa to stay in the country.

How can they acquire permanent resident status?

U visa applicants are approved to stay in the country due to their willingness to cooperate in prosecuting criminals. During this process, they are needed in the country to testify and attend court sessions. With this visa, it can set them up, later on, to be granted permanent resident status in the United States. After three years of continuous presence in the country, U visa holders are able to apply for permanent resident status. There is a limit to the number of U visas per year. However, there is no limit for family members, which includes spouses, children and possibly other family members.

What are the requirements to apply for a U visa?

Before applying for a U visa, applicants should be knowledgeable about what the qualifications are. There are six requirements for those that wish to obtain a U visa. These include being a victim of a qualifying criminal activity, having suffered mental or physical abuse, willing to provide information about the crime and able to assist with the investigation. The crime must have been committed in the United States or violated U.S. laws. The applicant will be admissible to the United States under current law.

Which crimes qualify a victim for the visa?

There are a number of crimes that can qualify a victim to apply for a U visa. These crimes can include domestic violence, kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, prostitution, rape, sexual assault and human trafficking. Due to the severity of these crimes, these individuals are needed to prosecute the criminals in order to create a safe environment.

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.

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