U-Visa Lawyer In San Jose
If you or your close one has been the victim of a certain offense or crime, the U visa may provide immigration relief. A U visa is a sort of non – immigrant status offered to some abuse victims who have endured considerable trauma and have assisted law enforcement and or prosecutors.
What is the purpose of a U Visa?
This bill is aimed to combat human trafficking, including sex slavery, enslavement, and coerced servitude. As well as to reauthorize some government programs aimed at preventing abuse against immigrant children and women. It offers similar immigration advantages to refugees, with the extra benefit of a road to permanent residency or a green card.
Following bills, AB 917 and AB 2426, amended SB 674 to improve survivor’s entry to the U visa system by standardizing and simplifying aspects of the certification program, such as :
- who may request a credential,
- what crimes meet the criteria for U visa status,
- who appropriate certifying authorities are, certification requirements, and
- conditions under which a censure is granted.
AB 2321 establishes that potential certifiers such as judges and prosecutors have access to certain confidential juvenile documents in order to handle U visa certification petitions.
What are the rules around applying for a U Visa?
You must fill out and return Form I-918, Petition for U Non immigrant Status, to register for a U visa. This form is not available to everyone who needs immigration relief. If you meet the following criteria, you may be qualified for being considered for a U visa:
- You were a subject of a serious offense such as domestic abuse, assault, sexual abuse, or human trafficking (as defined by the state)
- Demonstrate that you were subjected to “serious physical or mental abuse” as a result of the offense, (as mentioned above) and
- You have relevant and meaningful information regarding the crime; and
- You were or are willing to assist law enforcement and or prosecutors in their pursuit of justice.
- You assisted in the successful investigation and prosecution of the crime in collaboration with US law enforcement(s).
What does the state of California recognize as the eligibility criteria for a U Visa?
The state of California, according to this state document, awards eligibility to the applicants who:
- Have endured serious bodily or mental torture as a consequence of a qualifying offense or comparable behavior committed in the United States (or that violated US laws);
- Have information about the case and have been, are, or will be beneficial to police officers in the inquiry or litigation of the offenses;
- Have a certificate from a federal, state, or local enforcement authority declaring that you have been the target of eligible violence.
What can a U Visa do for the holder?
When approved, a U visa provides complete protection from deportation. It should last for about four years on average. It can be extended at the conclusion of that period. A U visa holder may also be qualified to participate in the application for a green card in the future.
The U visa will allow them to reside and find employment for up to four years in the United States of America. A U visa holder and his or her close family can file for permanent residency (also known as green cards, as mentioned previously). This can be done after three years of residence in the United States.
What are the other underlying rules for qualification?
Who is eligible for the U-Visas? The key point here is the following:
Only those who are prepared to cooperate with law enforcement, as well as other concerned authorities in the process of prosecution and investigation. If you do, you will receive a document called a Certification of Helpfulness as a result of this. This is one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your U visa application and ensure that it gets accepted.
A simple reference document from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) explains what a Certification of Helpfulness is and how it impacts a U visa application. The main thing to remember here is the following:
That this document is used as evidence to show that you performed your duty as a witness for the police or prosecutors.
In California, what constitutes domestic violence?
California analyzes the nature of the parties’ connection as well as the damage that has been caused by the offense. It’s necessary to have an “intimate bond.” Marriage, domestic union, a romantic partnership, a shared residence, and/or having a kid together are all examples of this. This connection may still exist, or it may have ended. You can also get help to secure a restraining order for domestic abuse.
It is not necessary for the assault to be physical. Psychological, social, or verbal abuse are all examples of qualifying abuse. Here are a few examples:
- Putting another person in danger;
- Destroying one’s own belongings; or
- Restricting the victim’s bodily and physical freedom
What are the offenses that qualify in California?
Below are some instances of eligible violent offenses in California:
- Domestic Battery
- Violation of a restraining order
- Domestic violence that results in bodily or mental damage
- Threats from terrorists
Other Supporting Evidence That Can Be Prepared With the Help of an Immigration Lawyer
Other pieces of proof, in addition to the Certification of Helpfulness, can be used to substantiate a U visa petition. This information can be gathered and prepared with the help of an expert immigration lawyer. Here are a few common examples:
- Records proving that you were a victim of a crime, such as court transcripts, witness accounts, or police statements;
- Any scientific /medical proof proving the crime’s psychological or physical effects;
- Supporting witnesses’ testimony; and
- A personalized narrative statement outlining the events leading up to the offense and the efforts you took to comply with the American judicial system.
Family Members/Derivative U Visa qualifications
Following the approval of an application for a “U” visa, the following family members are qualified for their own subsidiary U visa:
- if the primary petitioner (the crime victim) is 21 years of age or older, the survivor’s spousal partner and kids;
- If the main applicant (the crime victim) is below the age of 21, the survivor’s spouse, kids, guardians (or parents), and unmarried siblings must all be under the age of 21.
How Does a U Visa Lawyer Help?
We understand every U-visa case is unique, and we have years of experience representing clients with a variety of needs for protection. Our legal team has a great track record of success, and our clients have told us that their U-visa attorney fees were worth it in the end to stay in the United States.
Don’t risk your and your family’s safety by trying to do this on your own. Call Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C. at 408-292-7995 today or get in touch online to schedule your consultation right away.