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U Visas - For Victims of a Crime


What is a U Visa?


U Visa is a nonimmigrant visa created by the Congress under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in October 2000. The visa assists victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.


What are the eligibility requirements for a U Visa?


The October 2000 Congressional law creates four statutory requirements for eligibility under a U Visa. All four must be satisfied:

1. The individual must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity.

2. The individual must have information concerning that criminal activity.

3. The individual must have been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

4. The criminal activity violated U.S. laws


How do I file for a U Visa?


Victims of crime must file a Form I-918, which is a Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status. This form requires information regarding eligibility for U status and on admissibility to the U.S.


What is the definition of a “Criminal Activity” under the eligibility requirements of a U Visa?


A Criminal Activity for the purposes of U Visa eligibility is an activity involving one or more activities that violate U.S. criminal law.  These activities include:

Abduction, Abusive Sexual Contact, Blackmail, Domestic Violence, Extortion, False Imprisonment, Genital Female Mutilation, Felonious Assault, Hostage, Incest, Involuntary Servitude, Kidnapping, Manslaughter, Murder, Obstruction of Justice, Peonage, Perjury, Prostitution, Rape, Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Slave Trader, Torture, Trafficking, Witness Tampering, Unlawful Criminal Restraint, and Other Related Crimes.


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