For many individuals, the U-1 nonimmigrant visa (“U visa”) provides an alternative way to remain legally in the United States. These special visas allow an individual to remain in the country if that individual is willing to assist law enforcement investigate or prosecute certain crimes. To obtain a U visa, a person must have been the victim of a listed crime, suffered significant physical or mental abuse due to the crime, and have information that will assist law enforcement investigate or prosecute the crime. Victims of over 30 crimes, including sexual assault, kidnapping, blackmail, domestic violence or torture, may be eligible for U visas.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been issuing U visas since 2008. Almost 90,000 crime victims and their families already have received U visas in the United States. Under current laws, USCIS may only issue a maximum of 10,000 U visas per year. We are pleased to report that USCIS has approved the issuance of the maximum amount for the fiscal year 2014. Although there are no U visas available for this year, the USCIS will begin issuing U visas on October 1, 2014, the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year.
Applying for a U visa for either yourself or a family member is a complex process that requires legal assistance. The experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can assist you in applying for a U visa. The U visa is only one way to obtain legal status to remain in the United States. Our dedicated Philadelphia citizenship attorneys can also work with you or your loved one who may be eligible for family visas, business visas, or employment/work visas. We are conveniently located in Center City, Philadelphia and handle all types of immigration and citizenship matters. To schedule a confidential consultation, call our office today at (215) 925-4435 or contact us online.