U Nonimmigrant Status

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), subsequently reauthorized in 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2013, individuals who have been the victims of certain serious crimes may be granted U nonimmigrant status. U nonimmigrant status allows recipients to obtain work authorization and remain in the United States lawfully for, generally, a period of four years. An individual in U Nonimmigrant Status may be apply for lawful permanent residence after a period of three years.

Each year, a maximum of 10,000 U visas may be granted. This number does not include nonimmigrant status/visas granted to spouses and other derivative family members.

General Eligibility Requirements

A U nonimmigrant status petitioner must establish or demonstrate that she or he:

  • Has been the direct or indirect victim of a qualifying serious criminal activity, or the attempt / conspiracy thereof, including:
Domestic Abuse Kidnapping Trafficking
Felonious Assault Abduction Blackmail
Involuntary Servitude Being Held Hostage Extortion
Peonage Slave Trade Obstruction of Justice
Rape Unlawful Criminal Restraint Witness Tampering
Sexual Assault False Imprisonment Perjury
Abusive Sexual Contact Manslaughter Incest
Forced Prostitution Murder Torture
  • Possesses information about the qualifying criminal activity.
  • Has been helpful, are being helpful, or are likely to be helpful to the investigation and/or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity of which the petitioner has been a victim.
  • Has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the criminal activity.

Procedure

A U nonimmigrant status petition is filed using Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status.

The petition MUST include Form I-918, Supplement B Certification, signed by an authorized certifying official.

Family members, including the spouse and minor children of a petitioner 21 years of age or older, and the spouse, minor children, parents and unmarried siblings where the petitioner is under 21 years of age, may be included in the principal’s petition using Form I-918, Supplement A.

A U nonimmigrant status petition is filed together with supporting documents of eligibility with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - Vermont Service Center.

There is no filing fee.

Most grounds of inadmissibility may be waived. Waivers are filed using Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant.

The filing fee associated with Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant may be waived by completing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver and submitting evidence of inability to pay.

A U nonimmigrant status petition may be filed during removal proceedings. A request for administrative closure, continuance or termination of proceedings may be granted by an immigration judge while adjudication of the petition is pending.

Where petitioner is subject to a final order of removal, deportation or exclusion, a motion for stay may be filed to allow adjudication of a U nonimmigrant status petition. If the petition is granted, the order of removal is cancelled.

A U nonimmigrant status petition may be filed abroad, through consular proceeding.

Benefits of U Nonimmigrant Status Grant (“U Visa”)

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