U visas give temporary legal status to illegal aliens in California who are victims of domestic abuse, rape, or other serious offenses. The victim's parents, siblings and children may also be able to get legal status.
There is no fee to apply for a U visa. They are typically good for four (4) years. And the visa holder may have the opportunity to apply for green card after three (3) years.
In this article our Los Angeles U visa attorneys discuss how victims can get legal immigration status in California, including eligibility requirements and fees. Click on a question to jump to the answer:
- 1. Can I get a "U visa" in Los Angeles, CA?
- 2. What is the application process for a "U visa"?
- 3. What is the fee for a "U visa"?
- 4. Can my family come to California on a "U visa"?
- 5. When do "U visas" expire?
- 6. Is there a cap for "U visas"?
- 7. Can "U visa" holders get "green cards"?
Domestic violence victims should feel free to call the National Domestic Violence Victim Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. They understand the special needs of alien victims who fear deportation by calling the police.
There are three prerequisites for U visa eligibility:
- The non-citizen was a victim of criminal physical and/or mental abuse;
- The non-citizen has documentation from law enforcement certifying he/she will aid the police in investigating these abuse allegations; and
- The non-citizen has information about the abuse he/she endured
Common crimes that U visa applicants are victims of include:
- Domestic violence
- Human trafficking
- Involuntary servitude
U Visa applicants have to fill out the following two forms:
- USCIS Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, and
- USCIS Form I-918 Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification
Then these applications must be mailed to the following address:
Vermont Service Center (VSC)
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479
Applying for a U visa is free.
A U visa holder's "derivative family members" can usually live with them in the U.S. Derivative family members include
- parents, and
Note that U visa applicants are required to fill out USCIS Form I-918, Supplement A for each relative he/she wants to include in the petition.
U visa are good for four (4) years. This can be extended if law enforcement needs the visa holder to provide more assistance.
Yes. U visas are limited to 10,000 a year plus the U visa holder's derivative family members. Derivative family members usually include spouses, parents, and children.
Note that people placed on the U visa waiting list may be able to receive stabilized immigration status if they cooperate with law enforcement.
U visa holders may qualify for permanent residency if they meet the following three requirements:
- The alien must have been on U.S. soil for three (3) continuous years since getting the U visa;
- The alien must not have acted unreasonably in refusing to help law enforcement after getting the U visa; and
- Staying in the U.S. would maintain the alien's family unit or serve the public interest.
Call our Los Angeles immigration lawyers...
If you or a family member is seeking a "U visa" in California, contact our Los Angeles immigration attorneys for a FREE consultation at (855) 396-0370. We will fight to achieve lawful residency in the U.S. for you and your loved ones.
Go to our California visa main page.
Learn about U visas in Nevada.