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"U" Nonimmigrant Visas - Victims of Criminal Activity

The U nonimmigrant status (also known as the U visa) is set aside for victims of crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse as a result and who are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation of the criminal activity. 

To petition for U nonimmigrant status, Form I-918 must be submitted by the victim or someone petitioning on the victim’s behalf. A Federal, State or local government official investigating a qualifying criminal activity can certify that the victim has been, is being, or will likely be helpful in the prosecution of the criminal act(s) of which he or she was a victim using Form I-918, Supplement B. A petition may also be submitted for eligible family members to obtain U nonimmigrant status using Form I-929.

Those who have been granted U-1 nonimmigrant status may file for permanent residency using Form I-485 upon meeting certain requirements. For instructions and eligibility requirements, see Form I-485, Supplement E. (All forms mentioned above can be found under "Related Links" on the upper-right hand side of this page.)

There is also a two-stage process for qualifying family members of a U-1 nonimmigrant status holder to apply for permanent residency. For more information, please refer to "Questions and Answers: Qualifying Family Members of U Visa Beneficiaries May Obtain Lawful Permanent Residence" under the "Related Links" section on the upper-right hand side of this page.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/13/2009