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U Visas

Congress created the “U” nonimmigrant classification with passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence 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, at the same time, offering protection to victims of such crimes. The U nonimmigrant status 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.

Eligibility Requirements

There are four statutory eligibility requirements:

  • The individual must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity. Qualifying criminal activity is defined by statute as that being an activity involving one or more of a long list of activities that violate Federal, State, or local criminal law – from murder, rape, torture, sexual exploitation, and extortion to witness tampering, obstruction of justice, false imprisonment, etc. This is not an exclusive list – in fact, the list of qualifying crimes represents the many types of behavior that can constitute domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, or other crimes which vulnerable immigrants are often targeted.
  • He/She has information concerning that criminal activity.
  • He/She has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
  • The criminal activity must have violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the U.S.

REPRESENTATION IN IMMIGRATION COURT

Our firm represents clients in removal proceedings before immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and in Federal Courts. We handle asylum claims, withholding of removal and relief under the convention against torture claims. We also successfully handled cancellation of removal as well as in-court adjustments cases. We handle both lawful permanent resident and non-lawful permanent resident cancellation of removal cases.

Our firm also represents criminal aliens in removal proceedings. Representation of criminal aliens is complex requiring a thorough understanding of the treatment of different crimes under the Immigration & Nationality Act. We also represent clients in bond hearing proceedings, requesting that bond be lowered by the immigration judge. We represent detained clients, including those with prior orders of deportation. We have successfully reopened old orders of removal where relief was available and strong equities existed including long time residence in the United States, U.S. Citizen relative and difficult conditions in the country of removal. We have also successfully stopped deportation by obtaining deferred action relief for clients with final orders of deportation.

Contact us today at 800.923.3456 or online for a confidential case evaluation.

FREE CONSULTATION

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, Feb 17, 2017