Immigrants often become the targets of criminals, both here in the United States and in their home country. As the victim of a crime, you may be eligible for a special type of visa known as a U Visa.
Some immigrants do not report crimes against themselves or their family members because they fear they will be deported. However, by reporting the crime and helping law enforcement officials, you may be able to obtain legal status to remain in the United States.
What is a U visa?
The U visa is a visa that is designed to protect immigrants and their family members from becoming victims of crime. The U visa was created as a part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. Many different types of crimes may quality under the program, including:
- Sex trafficking
- Demands for money from you here or in your home country
- Physical violence or the threat of physical violence
- Scams targeting immigrants
- If you or a family member is a victim of a crime, you may qualify for a U visa if:
The crime occurred in the United States (or violated U.S. law if it happened in your home country).
- The crime caused you physical or mental suffering.
- You have information regarding the criminal activity.
- You assist law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
Whether or not you qualify for a U visa will depend on your circumstances and the nature of the crime. The Shelby Law Firm in Baton Rouge offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case and explain your options if you are a victim of crime and are seeking legal immigration status.