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Victims of Criminal Activity: U Nonimmigrant Status
The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes.
The following U Nonimmigrant information is explained in this area of the website.
You may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if:
To apply (petition) for a U nonimmigrant status, submit:
You may also apply (petition) for U nonimmigrant status if you are outside the United States. To do this, you must:
Certain qualifying family members are eligible for a derivative U visa based on their relationship to you, the principal, filing for the U visa. The principal petitioner must have their petition for a U visa approved before their family members can be eligible for their own derivative U visa.
To petition for a qualified family member, you must file a Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient, at the same time as your application or at a later time.
When U nonimmigrant status is granted, it is valid for four years. However, extensions are available in certain, limited circumstances if the extension is:
You may be eligible to apply for a Green Card (adjustment of status/permanent residence) if you meet certain requirements, including:
Family Members Deriving Status
If the family member deriving status based on your status has met the eligibility requirements for a Green Card, they may apply for lawful permanent residence by filing their own Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and following the instructions on the Form I-485, Supplement E.
Even if your family members never had U nonimmigrant status or a U visa, they may still be eligible for a Green Card.
If the Form I-929 for your family member(s) is approved:
Fees to File Form I-929
Please visit our Green Card for a Victim of a Crime (U Nonimmigrant) Web page for more information.
USCIS offers resources for victims of human trafficking and other crimes and the organizations that serve them. This information is designed to help answer any questions you or your family might have about obtaining T or U Nonimmigrant status. Please see Resources for Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes for more information.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/09/2014