U Victims of Criminal Activity

U (Victims of Certain Crimes) Visa

The U visa is a temporary legal status granted to victims of certain crimes. If granted, the U visa holder is granted employment authorization in the United States for up to four years. There is a limit of 10,000 visas each year. U visa holders can petition family members including spouses, children, unmarried siblings under 18, parents, stepparents, and adoptive parents.

In order to qualify for this type of visa, the alien must prove that he or she:

  • has been the victim of certain crimes;
  • has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of one of the qualifying crimes;
  • possesses useful information concerning the crime which occurred;
  • has helped or is likely to cooperate in the investigation or prosecution of the crime; and
  • the crime committed violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States.

After three years the U visa holder can apply for permanent residence in the United States.

What types of crimes are contemplated in the U visa context?

Victims of the following types of criminal activities may be eligible for a U visa:

  • Abduction
  • Abusive Sexual Content
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extortion
  • False Imprisonment
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Felonious Assault
  • Hostage
  • Incest
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Slave Trade
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Witness Tampering
  • Unlawful Criminal Restraint
  • Other Related Crimes