Frequently Asked Questions About Visas for Victims of Crimes
You’ve Got Questions – We’ve Got Answers! Learn More About U, T, and VAWA Visas
Nonimmigrants residing in the U.S. who have been victims of certain crimes can apply for protective status and become residents. U, T, and VAWA visas are designed to provide relief from assault, stalking, sexual abuse, kidnapping, domestic violence, among other dangers. We answer questions you may have below:
Am I Eligible for A U Non-Immigrant Visa?
If you’re planning to apply, a U Visa immigration lawyer in Los Angeles can help you determine your eligibility. You must meet the following requirements:
Have information about the criminal act. Minors or those unable to provide information because of a disability can ask a parent, guardian, or friend to talk on their behalf.
Agree to help or have helped law enforcement during the investigation or prosecution process.
The crime occurred in the United States and violated U.S. laws.
Admissible to the U.S. If not, you must file for a waiver via Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.
What Is the Difference Between U Visas and T Visas?
U-Visas are available for victims of qualifying crimes that are suffering from abuse. Applicants and recipients must cooperate with law enforcement to investigate criminal activity.
T-Visas provide temporary immigration benefits to help victims of human trafficking remain in the U.S. Our immigration attorney in Los Angeles might be able to extend your stay for up to four years. Applicants and recipients must also help law enforcement.
Explain Physical Presence. How Does This Impact My T-Visa Application?
If you’re applying for a T-Visa, you might see the term “physical presence.” Per the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it means that the trafficking you experienced happened in the U.S., and you have not left the country since it took place.
The USCIS wants to establish the reason behind why you stayed after escaping abusive conditions. Examples of supporting arguments include:
You are receiving trafficking-specific services
You are working with local or federal law enforcement
You are experiencing traumas that are preventing you from moving forward
You can’t leave due to barriers caused by human trafficking
The explanation you provide must have a direct correlation to your trafficking experience. Before you submit your application, you can run it by our immigration lawyer for T-Visas first. This is a time-sensitive process with a lot at stake.
What Is the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)?
VAWA visas help abused spouses, and immediate family members escape from their abusers and self-petition to get legal status in the U.S. Protections under VAWA are for both men and women experiencing such hardships. Additional protection offered includes the ability to get a job and receiving health benefits to cut ties with the abuser altogether.
Can I Get a Green Card If I Was a Victim of a Crime?
Immigration law allows immigrants with U nonimmigrant status to apply for permanent residency! That includes:
U-1 (overall applicants that are suffering from extreme abuse and currently helping law enforcement investigate criminal activity)
Other qualifying family members are identified as follows:
Is There a Time Limit to File?
That depends on your case!
There is no deadline for filing a T-Visa, U-Visa, or VAWA regardless of how long the survivor has escaped from trafficking. However, it might be more challenging to apply if it has been longer than five years from the date of your application.
What If the USCIS Denies My U-Visa Application?
If the USCIS denies your application, your status will remain as it was when you applied. If you are in the U.S. without legal documentation, our domestic violence lawyer in Los Angeles can disclose other asylum visas to protect you from deportation or detention centers.
Why Should I Hire the Law Offices of Todd Becraft?
At The Law Offices of Todd Becraft, our immigration attorneys recognize how overwhelming the visa, immigration, and naturalization processes can be. Each client deserves an individualized approach that pertains to their unique situation. When you choose us – you can expect a thorough analysis of your case, extensive preparation, combined with our years of experience and expertise. If you have a legal concern in one of our immigration practice areas, call 213-388-1821 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation!