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U visa: An option for victims of crimes

by Ana Maria Bazan

Besides Obama's Deferred Action is there any other way an undocumented person can obtain legal status? One of the only options for undocumented immigrants to obtain legal status is the U visa for victims of crimes who cooperate with the authorities. The U visa grants the person legal status and a work permit for 4 years. The great thing about this visa is that after 3 years with this status, the person could apply for a green card (legal permanent residency).

 

               Who is eligible for the U visa?

·         The applicant must be a victim (either physically or mentally) of the criminal activity that is listed in the regulations of this U visa: Criminal assault, rape, torture, domestic violence, statutory rape, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, incest, human trafficking, kidnapping, abduction, involuntary servitude, blackmail, extortion, among other crimes.

·         The person must have cooperated with the authorities (Police, District Attorney, ACS, amongst others)

·         The crime must have occurred within the U.S.

·         It doesn't matter how you entered the U.S. with or without a visa

            What are the benefits of the U visa?

·         It benefits victims of certain crimes, it doesn't matter if you are currently in deportation proceedings, or if you have a prior order of removal or deportation.

·         It does not matter when the crime occurred (this could have occurred many years ago). The important thing is that the person must have reported this crime to the police.

·         The U visa waives many grounds of inadmissibility such as entering without inspection and many criminal grounds

·         This visa gives legal status to the victim and her/his spouse, her children under 21 years of age and sometimes siblings if the victim is under 21 years old.  All of these family members can apply for legal status and obtain a work permit even if these relatives are outside the United States.

·         After 3 years all U visa beneficiaries including the victim and the derivatives could all apply for legal permanent residency status.

Make sure you get professional legal advice before you submit an application with Immigration!.

  Go to a reliable organization, ask about the experience the person has if they have a license to practice in the U.S. and if they specialize in immigration law.  Remember to sign a contract. Every case is unique, DON'T BECOME A VICTIM OF FRAUD! Don't believe what your neighbors, friends and colleagues tell you they are not immigration lawyers and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.

 

Ana Maria Bazan Law Firm obtains honest and reliable service to satisfy your legal needs. We will give your case the time and dedication it deserves.

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