It has been nearly 3 years since I did a national, one hour webinar on the U Visa. And after that I appeared on National Television to discuss this important benefit.
- For the last five years the 10,000 limit has been reached which has created a backlog.
- Until Congress raises the number of U Visa grants from the annual 10,000, we have to look at solutions for applicants.
- The U Visa is of course a valuable benefit to qualifying immigrant victims of violent crimes in the United States.
- U-Visa processing times reportedly jumped forward from February to June 2013 – this is a good sign that applications should move faster.
- Deferred Action appears to be getting granted more to U Visa applicants.
Here are the qualifying crimes for U Visa:
- Trafficking (also available with the T Visa)
- Domestic violence (seen very commonly, of course, and the actor need not be American or even legally present in the United States)
- Sexual assault
- Abusive sexual contact
- Sexual exploitation
- Female genital mutilation
- Being held hostage
- Involuntary servitude
- Slave trade
- Unlawful criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Manslaughter (U Visa can be granted to “indirect victims”)
- Murder (U Visa can be granted to “indirect victims”)
- Felonious assault
- Witness tampering
- Obstruction of justice
- Stalking (NEW as of 2013)
- Or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes
No matter how long the wait there is a solution for U Visa beneficiaries.
ONCE that U Visa is granted the next step is green card processing.
- Victim must possess information regarding crime
- Victim has been helpful to local, state or federal law enforcement authorities. ONGOING requirement
- Victim suffered SUBSTANTIAL physical or emotional harm