In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform there has been an increasing effort to provide immigration benefits through special legislation and different programs within USCIS.
McVey Mullery & Dulberg provides reliable and competent representation taking into account current trends and most recent developments in immigration law.
The U-visa is an immigration benefit that may be granted to victims of certain criminal activity in the U.S. who have suffered substantial mental or physical harm because of the crime and who are helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. The qualifying crime does not have to be recent. Even crimes that occurred many years ago may qualify you for a U visa if you meet the criteria.
The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) can grant up to 10,000 U-visas each year, authorizing the holder to remain in the U.S. for up to four years and receive work authorization. The U-visa is available to principal applicants and qualifying derivative family members. After three years of uninterrupted U-Nonimmigrant status, the holder may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency, otherwise known as a “green card.” The U-visa is not renewable and does not authorize the holder to travel outside of the U.S. We have helped many victims of crimes obtain a U visa. Please contact our office to see if you qualify.
In 1994 Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act to provide protections to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, dating violence and violence from family members. In 2013, Congress passed a bill to reauthorize VAWA.
There are several immigration benefits under VAWA:
- Self Petition – if you are the spouse, parent or child of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident and have suffered mental or physical abuse, you may be eligible to file a petition for immigration benefits. If the petition is approved, you will be eligible to file for work authorization and permanent residency.
- I-751 Waiver Petitions – if you suffered battering or extreme cruelty by your spouse
- VAWA Cancellation – if you have been residing in the US for at least three years and were subject to battering or extreme cruelty in the US, you may be eligible for cancellation of removal if you are in removal proceedings