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630-932-9100
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
630-932-9100
DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

ST. CHARLES

333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in U Visas

IL immigration lawyerWe sincerely hope that you have not been a victim of a crime while temporarily visiting, studying, or working in the United States. But if you have, you should be aware of the immigration benefits available to crime victims under the nonimmigrant U visa program.

How to Qualify for a U Visa as a Crime Victim

To qualify for a U nonimmigrant visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You were the victim of a qualifying crime, as a result of which you suffered substantial mental or physical abuse.
  • You possess information about the crime that would be helpful to law enforcement.
  • A federal, state, or local law enforcement official certifies, on a form that is attached to your visa application, that you are helping or have helped law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of that crime.
  • You must meet the standard criteria for admissibility to the US or obtain a waiver of inadmissibility.

Types of Crime that Qualify for a U Visa

Qualifying crimes are generally violent or sexual crimes such as being kidnapped, held hostage, raped, beaten, or forced into prostitution.

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 IL immigration lawyerUnfortunately, when immigrants come to settle in the U.S., they are very often the victims of crime, especially if they are undocumented, because they are seen as easy targets. If you have been the victim of a crime, particularly a violent crime, it can feel like seeing justice is hopeless, but there is an option by which you may be permitted to remain in the U.S. and assist law enforcement at the same time. The U visa is designed especially for victims of crime, though the criteria are strict, and there are other options you may wish to explore as well.

U Visas

There is a lack of hard data on immigrants as crime victims. Due to language problems and fear of retaliation or deportation, especially under this administration, some immigrant populations are slow to report crimes against them, and some studies do support this conclusion. However, it is not difficult to understand why immigrants might hesitate to report, especially those who belong to vulnerable groups, such as women or members of the LGBT community. Partly as a response to this reluctance, the U.S. government implemented the T and U visas, with the T visa being reserved for human trafficking victims and their families while U visas are for victims of crime in general.

You may be eligible to apply for a U visa if you meet the relevant criteria, which are:

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Chicago immigration attorneys, domestic violence victims, undocumented immigrants, nonimmigrant visa, immigrant status, U VisasStatistics from Safe Horizon show that one-in-four women and one-in-seven men will be severely physically abused during their lifetimes, with the majority of those instances occurring at the hands of someone in their immediate family or living situation. The figures are even higher in the immigrant community (both documented and undocumented) for many different reasons. However, many times, relief does not come as easily to immigrant victims. Many are unaware that they might even be able to apply for permanent immigration status in the United States, if they fit certain qualifications, when doing so might let them escape their abusers for good. If you are in such a situation, reviewing the criteria might possibly save your life.

Requirements to Apply

Despite the name, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) applies to anyone with nonimmigrant status, of any gender, who can prove abuse by a U.S. citizen related to them. Immigrant women are statistically more likely to experience partner violence than immigrant men—very often, it is a husband or father who establishes a residence and citizenship in the U.S. first, and then petitions for his wife and/or children, which then places them in a disadvantaged position, as their immigration status is then dependent on his. However, men do receive status under VAWA if they meet the qualifications.

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Posted on in Immigration

b2ap3_thumbnail_U-Visas-Chicago.jpgMany individuals are unfamiliar with U visas and are unsure about how and why they are awarded. However, if you are unlucky enough to be the victim of a crime, you may be able to apply for one. Moreover, f you consent to help with the prosecution of your attackers, you may be able to remain in the United States even if you entered without inspection. It is important, though, to be aware of the requirements for a U visa before you begin the application process, especially in recent weeks. Given the current flux in the U.S. immigration system, it is not implausible to think that regulations may change in the future.

Restrictions & Requirements

The U visa is granted to victims of certain crimes, such as human trafficking, prostitution, violent assault, domestic violence, and several others. A person generally has a higher likelihood of being granted a U visa if he or she has been the victim of a crime in which he or she suffered severe abuse (mental or physical), but there are a host of crimes for which one may be considered for a visa. The single most important criteria is that you, as a victim, must be willing and able to assist U.S. law enforcement in attempting to prosecute the people who harmed you. The requirements specifically state that you are “helpful, or likely to be helpful” in the prosecution of your attacker.

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Posted on in Immigration

Aiding Crime Victims: U VisasThe United States is a country that plays host to great things and people. However, its relative prosperity makes it attractive to many types of criminals, including human traffickers and others who cause innocents great degrees of harm. If you are a victim of a crime, and you are in the U.S. or you were the victim of someone breaking U.S. laws, you may be entitled to immigration benefits if you assist law enforcement in their pursuit of your attacker.

Requirements

United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) lays out several criteria that must be met in order for you to possibly be eligible for a U visa, which is the type granted to crime victims. Some include:

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