U Visa Lawyer in Fresno Helping You With Your Visa Application
The U nonimmigrant status visa is designed for those who have been victims of crimes that caused mental or physical harm and who can be useful to law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting crimes. This visa was created under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000 and is intended to help law enforcement agencies increase their ability to investigate and prosecute crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, and trafficking of noncitizen foreign nationals.
The victims of these crimes may also be better served as a result of this law. To be eligible for a U visa, you must be the victim of a crime that caused you significant mental or physical harm and occurred in the U.S. or violated U.S. laws, hold information that can be helpful to law enforcement, and be generally admissible to the United States. The help of a immigration lawyer in Fresno from Bains Law Offices can make the difference in your success or failure at obtaining a U visa to enter or remain in the United States. Call our Fresno office today at 559-890-1007
How Do I Apply for a U Visa?
There are certain steps you must follow and documents you must submit in order to apply for a U visa. Requirements include an application form, the signature of an authorized official of the certifying law enforcement agency, and a personal statement describing the criminal activity that caused you harm. If there are any inadmissibility issues, there will be other forms and documents required to request a waiver of the inadmissibility. If your petition is approved and you are outside the United States, you must use the consular process to enter the United States, which will include an interview with a consular officer at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
What if I am Unable to Provide Helpful Information to Law Enforcement Due to Disability?
If you are unable to provide the information you have to help law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting crime, a parent, guardian, or “next friend” may provide the information about the crime on your behalf. This provision also applies to applicants who are under the age of 16. A “next friend” is defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) as “A person who appears in a lawsuit to act for the benefit of an alien who is under the age of 16, or is incapacitated or incompetent, who has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of qualifying criminal activity.”
What is the Required Law Enforcement Certification?
To qualify for a U visa, the victim of a crime must have an authorized official of a law enforcement agency certify that the applicant has been or will be helpful in the investigation and prosecution of certain specified crimes. This ensures that you were a victim of a qualifying crime and that you are willing to cooperate with law enforcement by providing the information you have about the crime. This may mean that the victim must give full testimony in court, but it may also mean that the victim has simply called the police to report the crime. Conviction of the perpetrator is not required.
Unfortunately, some law enforcement agencies might make it difficult to obtain this certification, and the rules and laws governing their willingness vary from city to city and state to state. Ultimately, it is up to the law enforcement agency to decide whether or not to give the certification that qualifies a person for a U visa. This is one reason that it is a good idea to have an experienced and knowledgeable U visa lawyer on your side advocating for you with USCIS and with law enforcement. An experienced immigration lawyer can work with law enforcement to help you get the certification you need to qualify for a U visa. Call Bains Law Offices today at 559-890-1007 to consult with one of our skilled U visa lawyers.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Help with My U Visa Case?
If you have been the victim of a crime that has caused you mental and physical harm, you may not have the emotional strength to make your way through the complicated paperwork required for a U visa application. Furthermore, you may run into difficulties getting the required certification from a law enforcement agency. An experienced immigration lawyer with knowledge of the U visa application process can take your side and support you through this difficult process.