U-Visas For Victims of Crime
If you have ever been a victim of a crime in the USA or if an immediate family member has ever been a victim of crime in the USA, you may qualify for a U visa. Only certain crimes against you or your immediate family member will qualify you or your family member for this visa. Some examples are domestic violence, sexual abuse, felony assault, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, human trafficking and others.
Generally, the acting police department, agency, district attorney or judge, must certify that you were a victim of a qualifying crime and that you were helpful to that agency. Note it is not required that these agencies sign your U certification, but it must be signed in order to apply for a U visa.
With a U visa, you will get a work permit valid for four years in U visa status. After 3 years, you may apply for legal permanent residency. Once we file for the U visa with USCIS, it usually takes 13 months to get an approval or denial. Your immediate family members may also be eligible to apply with you.