The U visa program was created by Congress to provide legal status to foreign nationals who can show the following elements: (1) has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of a “qualifying criminal activity;” (2) possesses credible and reliable information establishing that he or she has knowledge of the details concerning the qualifying criminal activity; (3) has been helpful, is being helpful, or likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity; and (4) the qualifying criminal activity occurred in the U.S. The law provides that felonious assault constitutes a “qualifying criminal activity.”
In order to obtain U Nonimmigrant status, an applicant must first obtain U visa certification by an official from a certifying agency, including a judge, law enforcement official, or a prosecutor. Once this is approved, an applicant may then proceed in applying for a U visa with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Upon USCIS approval of the application, an applicant must maintain continuous physical presence in the United States for 3 years before he/she qualifies for permanent residency in the United States.
To see if you or a loved one qualifies for a U visa, schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys online or by calling: 612-746-0360.