The U visa category was created by provisions in the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 for victims of certain enumerated crimes which occur in the United States. The Act provides for up to 10,000 visas yearly for such victims. U nonimmigrants may be eligible for adjustment of status after three years of continuous presence where reasons of humanitarian grounds, family unity or public interest justify such a grant. An alien may be classified as a U nonimmigrant if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that: (1) the alien has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity involving one or more of the following or any similar activity in violation of federal, state, or local criminal law: rape; torture; trafficking; incest; domestic violence; sexual assault; abusive sexual contact; prostitution; sexual exploitation; female genital mutilation; being held hostage; peonage; involuntary servitude; slave trade; kidnapping; abduction; unlawful criminal restraint; false imprisonment; blackmail; extortion; manslaughter; murder; felonious assault; witness tampering; obstruction of justice; perjury; or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes; (2) the alien (or in the case of an alien child under the age of 16, the parent, guardian, or next friend of the alien) possesses information concerning such criminal activity; (3) the alien (or in the case of an alien child under the age of 16, the parent, guardian, or next friend of the alien) has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a federal, state, or local law enforcement official, to a federal, state, or local prosecutor, to a federal or state judge, to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE), or to other federal, state, or local authorities investigating or prosecuting such criminal activity; and/or (4) the criminal activity violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States (including in Indian country and military installations) or the territories and possessions of the United States. If the Secretary of Homeland Security considers it necessary to avoid extreme hardship to the spouse, the child, or, in the case of an alien child, the parent of the alien described above, the Secretary of Homeland Security may also grant U nonimmigrant status based upon certification of a listed government official that an investigation or prosecution would be harmed without the assistance of the spouse, the child, or, in the case of an alien child, the parent of the alien. The number of principal aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided status as U nonimmigrants in any fiscal year will not exceed 10,000. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of red tape and unchecked processes of the U Visa which lead to years of waiting.

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U Humanitarian Visa