In the United States, victims of certain crimes who have endured substantial physical or mental abuse may find solace in the U visa program. This program, designed to protect and assist victims, offers a pathway to lawful permanent residency, commonly known as obtaining a Green Card. 

U nonimmigrant status, is designated for victims of specific crimes who have suffered severe physical or mental trauma and have been helping in aiding the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.  

U Nonimmigrant Visa Process

To obtain a U visa, you must do the following:

  1. Obtain signed Form I-918 Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification from law enforcement stating that you were a victim of a qualifying crime and you were helping in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. 
  2. File Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status with Form I-918B and other required documents
  3. Obtain “prima facie” determination of U visa status, which will allow you to obtain an Employment Authorization Document. 
  4. Wait years for an actual U visa to be available to you. 
  5. Once a U visa is issued, remain in U visa status for four years and then apply for a green card. 

Green Card Through U Visa

Adjustment of status–or an application for a green card–through U visa is much more forgiving than green card applications through marriage or employment. Many criminal issues can be forgiven for a U visa green card. Also, importantly, an applicant can get a green card even if they crossed the border without a visa, or entered EWI.

Derivative U Nonimmigrant Family Members

Certain relatives of U-1 nonimmigrants may also qualify for a Green Card as derivative applicants. Spouses (U-2), children (U-3), parents (U-4), or siblings (U-5) who meet specific criteria are eligible for adjustment of status based on derivative U nonimmigrant status.

Navigating the path to a Green Card as a victim of crime under the U visa program is complex. For more information and personalized assistance regarding adjustment of status based on U nonimmigrant status, please contact Cambridge Immigration Law. Our team of dedicated attorneys is committed to advocating for your rights and facilitating your journey towards a brighter future in the United States.