U Visa

The U visa is a nonimmigrant visa that is reserved for victims of crime who assist law enforcement. It is meant to protect non-citizen victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

U visa holders have legal status in the United States, receive employment authorization (work permit), and even a possible path to a green card and U.S. citizenship.

The U-Visa is a non-immigrant visa available to non-citizen victims of certain types of serious crimes, who cooperate with law enforcement and suffer physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime. Adult applicants can include their spouses and minor children in their applications, while minor victims can include their parents and minor siblings. The U Visa is valid for 4 years and provides a pathway to citizenship, meaning that U Visa holders can apply for a green card and, eventually, US citizenship. 

There are four statutory eligibility requirements to qualify for the U-Visa. The individual must: 

  1. have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity, which includes domestic violence and felonious assault;
  2. Possess information about the qualifying criminal activity; 
  3. Have been helpful, is being helpful or is likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity; 
  4. The criminal activity violated U.S. laws; and 
  5. Have the relevant law enforcement agency certify that you were helpful.

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Forms available to file online

AR-11 | Alien’s Change of Address Card G-639 | Freedom of Information/Privacy Act and Online FOIA Request I-90 | Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card


Important Agencies of US Immigration System:

Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov) The DHS’s first priority is to protect the nation against further terrorist attacks. Component agencies will analyze threats and intelligence, guard