How To Solve the Biggest Problems With U Visas
By: Harlan York
February 22, 2014

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:

  1. Rape
  2. Torture                
  3. Trafficking (also available with the T Visa)
  4. Incest
  5. Domestic violence (seen very commonly, of course, and the actor need not be American or even legally present in the United States)
  6. Sexual assault
  7. Abusive sexual contact
  8. Prostitution
  9. Sexual exploitation
  10. Female genital mutilation
  11. Being held hostage
  12. Peonage
  13. Involuntary servitude
  14. Slave trade
  15. Kidnapping
  16. Abduction
  17. Unlawful criminal restraint
  18. False imprisonment
  19. Blackmail
  20. Extortion
  21. Manslaughter  (U Visa can be granted to “indirect victims”)
  22. Murder (U Visa can be granted to “indirect victims”)
  23. Felonious assault
  24. Witness tampering
  25. Obstruction of justice
  26. Perjury
  27. Stalking (NEW as of 2013)
  28. 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

About Harlan York

The first-ever attorney in New Jersey to win “Immigration Lawyer of the Year” from Best Lawyers, Harlan York is former immigration chair of the NJ State Bar Association and former co-chair for the NY State Bar Association CFLS Committee on Immigration. He currently serves on the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) National Practice Management Committee.

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Harlan York & Associates practices law in the areas of Immigration, Deportation Defense, Family Immigration, Corporate Immigration, Naturalization throughout Essex County – Hudson County – Morris County – Passaic County – Somerset County – Middlesex County – Bergen County – New Jersey -Immigration Lawyer – NJ Immigration Lawyer – Jersey City-Newark-Paterson Passaic Elizabeth Edison Woodbridge Toms River Hamilton Trenton Camden Clifton Passaic Garfield Wallington Cherry Hill East Orange Passaic Union City Bayonne Irvington Old Bridge Lakewood North Bergen Vineland Union Wayne Parsippany-Troy Hills New Brunswick Plainfield Bloomfield Perth Amboy East Brunswick West New York West Orange Hackensack Atlantic City Kearny Mount Laurel Montclair Essex Hoboken North Brunswick Belleville. In addition to serving clients in New York, Pennsylvania, the greater United States, and Internationally.

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