A U visa is a nonimmigrant visa for victims of certain crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. If you believe that you may be eligible for a U visa, please contact our office to speak to a Tampa U visa lawyer who will assess your eligibility for this type of immigration relief.
To qualify for a U visa, you must:
- Have been a victim of qualifying criminal activity (such as domestic violence, rape, kidnapping, and extortion)
- Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse due to the criminal activity
- Have information about the criminal activity
- Have been helpful or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime
- Be admissible to the United States
If your U visa application is approved, you will be authorized to live and work in the U.S. for a period of up to four years. You may be able to extend this time period if your presence is needed to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity or due to exceptional circumstances. Additionally, you may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (or to obtain a “green card”) if you meet all of the necessary requirements including physical presence in the U.S. for a continuous period of at least three years since the date you were admitted under U visa status. Your family members can also benefit from your U visa status. More specifically, they may be able to obtain U visa status as derivatives or as indirect victims in your case and also may be eligible for lawful permanent resident status. If you are interested in learning more about how you or your family could benefit from having U visa status, please call us to speak to U visa attorney in Tampa, FL about these benefits.
It is important to know that only 10,000 U visas may be granted to principal petitioners each year. However, there is no cap for family members deriving status from the principal petitioner. If the cap has been reached, you will be placed on a waiting list as you await a final decision in your case. While on the waiting list, you will be granted deferred action and will be eligible to apply for work authorization until additional U visas become available.
If you were a victim of a crime and are seeking immigration relief, you may be eligible for a U visa. Please call our office today to consult a U visa lawyer in Tampa, FL.