Do you know about the U visa? Do you live in Montana, North Dakota or Wyoming? If you have been the victim of a crime, you have helped the police or prosecutors with that crime, and you were hurt, you may be eligible for a U visa. One of the benefits of the U visa is its ability to provide status to those without status in the United States. In this guide, we go over these requirements and provide other helpful information. If you need information, keep reading. If you know you need help with the now, please contact us. This guide to the U visa is part of our guide to all US visa types.
U Visa Process
You may apply for a U visa either in the United States or outside of it if you meet the U visa requirements. We describe the U visa as having three requirements: 1. Crime requirement. You must have been a victim of a crime in the United States. Only certain crimes qualify. If you need help understanding whether or not the crime you suffered qualifies, we can help. We can also answer questions about where the crime occurred. 2. Help requirement. For you to receive the U visa, you must’ve done something to help police or prosecutors. 3. Harm requirement. You must prove that you suffered harm through the crime. The harm can be either physical or mental. If you can meet these three requirements you may be eligible for the U visa.
U Visa Application
U visa applicants often ask what they should work on first. We recommend starting with the I-918 supplement. The USCIS will not approve your U visa request unless the police department or prosecutor that you helped supports your application. You should thus get this commitment before beginning. It would be a waste of your time and effort to gather everything else needed for your application and then find that the Police Department and the prosecutor refuse to sign the required form.
If the Police Department signs the required I-918 supplement, we recommend next working on the actual form itself, the I-918. The form is eight pages long, and divided into sections. You start by providing information about yourself. Next, you explain how you meet all the requirements of the application. In part three, the USCIS asks you about your past. This is a section to tell about any crimes you may have committed or your lack of status in the United States. Part four of the form asks about your family. You must provide this information even if your family will not be obtaining any U visa benefit through your application. In part five you can request, U visa benefits for your family. Lastly, you should check over the form and sign and date it.
Did you enter the country without inspection? Have you reentered the country after being previously removed? Have you been found guilty of committing a crime while you present in the United States? If you answered yes to any of these questions then the USCIS will require you to apply for a waiver with your U visa request. The waiver is not part of form I-918. You can download the required form I-192, application for advance permission to enter as a nonimmigrant from the USCIS website. With the waiver application complete, you can move on to complete the U visa application itself.
Personal Statement Supporting Your Application
The USCIS requires you to tell your story as part of your U visa application. In your personal statement, you explain to the USCIS why you should receive a U visa. To do this, you will cover the three requirements in describing the crime, explaining how you were helpful to the authorities dealing with the crime, and explaining the harm that you experienced. If anything about your experience would seem strange to the USCIS, this is the place to deal with it. For example, if you are claiming that you are severely injured, but did not go to the hospital you would want to explain that fact. A good reason for not going to the hospital is no money to pay the hospital bill.
Documents to Support Your U Visa Case
While you are supporting your application by providing your version of events, success with the USCIS requires that you get additional documents. You should try to get copies of police and court records that document the crime and your involvement in it. You could also get letters from doctors about your injuries. People in your community will have seen the crimes effect on you. They could provide letters to support your claim. If you do need a waiver, it would be a good idea to include evidence that would support your request for it as well.
Final Points to Consider
When your application is complete, you will submit it to the Vermont Service Center. You will receive a receipt for your application. You do not receive any benefits until the USCIS approves the application. Only 10,000 U visas are available every year. If the USCIS has approved more than 10,000 U visa applications this year, they will place your application in a line. When the USCIS approves your application, you will have the ability to work in the United States. Perhaps the greatest benefit to consider is if you spend enough time in U visa status, you are eligible for a greencard, lawful permanent residence.
How We Can Help
From the description that you have read here, you can see that the U visa process can seem difficult and bureaucratic. We can take over the process for you, preparing and filing an application for you. If you would like our help, please contact us.