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Victims Of Crime Visa Attorneys

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Visas for Victims of Crimes

Victims of serious crimes committed in the United States may apply for a U non-immigrant visa if the crime has been reported to the police, the individual is helpful in the investigation and/or prosecution, and suffered emotional or physical harm. No, the District Attorney does not have to file charges for you to apply for a U non-immigrant visa. If you are undocumented, it is critical that you report any crime against you to the police. ICE has a long standing policy of not deporting victims of crimes in the United States. Do not be scared. Be brave. Turn a bad circumstance to a pathway to your citizenship in the United States. You are eligible even if you (the victim) have a criminal record or immigration violations yourself. There is a pardon for this that is filed with the U Non-immigrant visa application.

Serious crimes include domestic violence, felonious assault, kidnapping, wage discrimination, witness tampering, robbery, attempted murder, and sexual abuse of a minor. Family members of the principal applicant may also apply along with the victim and those members may include a spouse, parent, sibling or child. If you are undocumented and your U.S. citizen child is a victim of a crime, you may also qualify to file for a U non-immigrant visa as an indirect victim. If you are a essential witness to a crime, you may also apply for a U non-immigrant visa.

There is extensive evidence that must be gathered and filed in support of a U visa which often times is the only pathway to legal status, and United States citizenship. Gloria Cardenas and her team are experienced with working with police departments to obtain the U Visa certification (a requirement), even when the police department has said no to the victim. We know the law and we know your rights. We are caring individuals and will guide you through this application process mindful that you are a victim and may need special attention and patience. We welcome you.

If you did not report domestic violence to a police officer, you may be eligible to apply for VAWA. In 1994, Congress passed a law referred to as “VAWA,” which stands for the Violence Against Women Act, creating special routes to immigration status for certain battered non-citizens. Men and women may qualify. Among the basic requirements for eligibility, a battered noncitizen must be the spouse or child of an abusive US citizen or permanent residency.
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Derivative Beneficiaries

A derivative is another person (usually a family member) who may also receive a U non-immigrant visa along with the principal applicant. Since the family member’s status is “derived” from the principal applicant’s status, the family member is known as a “derivative” under immigration law. Although U visa derivatives do not have to meet all of the eligibility requirements for principal U visa applicants, they do have to show they are admissible or file a waiver if they are inadmissible.

A U Visa recipient who later marries may also apply for their undocumented spouse's waiver and lawful permanent residency. Form I-929 and Form I-485 adjustment of status application can be filed by your spouse on your behalf. These are liberally granted in the United States and you do not have to leave the United States to obtain residency.

Indirect Victims

Immigrants with no legal status who have been indirectly victimized by the crime against a family member (including a US citizen child unmarried and under 21 years old) may be eligible to apply for a U Visa if he/she meets all of the requirements. Parents of United State citizen children (under 21 years old) who have been victims of any serious crime such as sexual molestation, rape, or sexual abuse make up a large majority of indirect victims of U-Visas. The police agency executes the certification in the name of the parent when the parent can demonstrate that he/she was a victim of a serious crime against their child and that they were cooperative in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime against their child.

Witnesses to crimes may also file for a U Visa as a bystander victim, or essential witness in a prosecution of a crime. Yes, even if you yourself have a serious criminal record or extensive negative immigration record.

Victims of crimes oftentimes do not wish to ask the police agency for the executed U Visa Certification. Victim visa attorney Gloria Cardenas may be retained to assist you with this request, and after it is approved, with the U Visa application itself.
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Female Barista Wiping the Counter Table.

Applying for a U Visa

U visa status (also known as U nonimmigrant status) was created by VAWA. It is designed to provide lawful status to noncitizen crime victims who have assisted, are assisting, or are willing to assist the authorities in investigating or prosecuting crimes that were committed against them. The main purpose of the U visa is to encourage undocumented crime victims to help law enforcement investigate and prosecute crimes without fear of being deported.

The U visa status may be available to victims of domestic violence crimes, stalking, sexual assault, or victims of certain other crimes which can be crimes that have nothing to do with domestic abuse including aggravated assault, robbery, bribing a witness, and labor and wage violations that are substantiated by the labor department in your particular state. There is no statute of limitations (deadline) to apply for a U Visa. The application can be filed years after the crime was reported.

When it comes time to apply for a U Visa, it is important to have an experienced victim visa attorney on your side to protect your rights and best interests. If you are a noncitizen victim of crime, you must meet ALL of these requirements: you have been certified by law enforcement or another certifying agency that you “have been helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution” of one of the categories of crimes listed in the U visa statute; you can show that you suffered substantial physical or mental abuse, and the criminal activity violated U.S. law, or occurred in the U.S.

U visa applicants also must show that they are “admissible” or that they qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility if they are not. If the U visa applicant has a criminal record, has committed fraud, or misrepresentation in seeking to obtain an immigration benefit, or has other grounds of inadmissibility, a waiver will be filed with the U visa application.

Contact a Salt Lake City Fiancé Visa Attorney at Familia America Today

Attorney Gloria Cardenas brings more than 30 years of experience in immigration law to help protect the rights of clients and their family members. She and her knowledgeable team at Familia America work diligently behind the scenes to help process fiancé visa applications as quickly as possible. To learn more, contact the legal professionals at Familia America in Salt Lake City and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

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