The immigrant communities in the USA faced substantial threats and risks at one point in time.
The U visa was therefore created with dual intentions that would ultimately ensure the safety and protection of the immigrant communities and enable the law enforcement departments to look out for them.
This visa was designed to establish a cooperative culture between immigrants and the US government to minimize criminal activities against the former.
In this article, we shall look into the process of getting a U visa and when to contact an Immigration Attorney Atlanta.
A visa is a legal document that enables foreign nationals to enter the US temporarily or under specific restrictions.
The U visa, on the other hand, is a unique category of visa created to assist noncitizens or immigrants who become victims of specific crimes.
It is available to immigrants who, among other requirements, were the victims of a qualifying crime that caused them physical and mental harm.
Immigrants can assist law enforcement and bring the offender to justice with a U visa without having to worry about being deported.
The legal operations from requesting a U visa to its processing differs from district to district. Therefore, it is important that you consult firms like Manji Law, an excellent group of Immigration Attorney Atlanta, to get your Law Enforcement Certificate.
If you are a victim of criminal offenses in the USA and also an immigrant, do not worry about getting deported for your complaints.
According to the U visa law enforcement tool, the act of reporting crimes against an immigrant is incentivized.
However, there are some qualifying grounds to ensure your eligibility for a U visa—
- You have experienced a qualifying criminal act as a victim.
- You were severely abused physically or mentally as a result of the crime.
- You are in possession of accurate knowledge regarding the relevant criminal activity.
- You have a “Law Enforcement Certification” demonstrating that you are, have been, or are likely to be helpful in the investigation and/or prosecution of that qualifying criminal activity.
- You are a victim of a crime that broke one of the U.S. laws.
USCIS Form I-918 is used to certify U visas. It can be approved by a law enforcement agency on behalf of a victim petitioning USCIS for a U visa.
This form must be submitted as proof to USCIS that an eligible crime has been committed and that you contributed to the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
A victim can apply for a U visa by showing that they were cooperative in the investigation or prosecution of a crime.
It’s important to note that a “law enforcement certificate” is not a requirement for a perpetrator to have actually been convicted or even for charges to have been pursued.
The Law Enforcement Certification is often the most difficult part of the U visa process. It must be signed by a supervising official of an investigative law enforcement agency.
All authorities in charge of the investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of the qualifying criminal activity are considered certifying agencies. For faster and smoother processing of approval, it is best you get in touch with an Immigration Attorney Atlanta.
Some major certifying agencies are—
- Federal, State and Local law enforcement agencies.
- Federal, State and Local Judges.
- Federal, State, and Local Family Protective Services.
- Federal, State and Local prosecutors’ offices.
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- Federal and State Departments of Labor.
- Other similar agencies.
The US government has listed several types of criminal activities to define the circumstances under which you can get a U visa—
- Domestic violence.
- Sexual assault and exploitation.
- Unlawful criminal restraint.
- Felonious assault.
- False imprisonment.
It is only good for a maximum of four years from the moment your petition for the U visa is accepted and stamped on your passport. You are permitted to live and work in the US during those four years as a non-immigrant.
You can ask USCIS for a delay if your status is about to expire.
Applications to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, Form I-539, must be filed in order to extend status.