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Victim of crime, domestic violence or trafficking? Get the U, T or VAWA Petition.

I am a victim of Violence. What can I do?

Question: I have been a victim of crime and also my friend was basically a slave for her employer. What can we do?

Answer: There are different types of visas for these matters. Basically, the U, T and VAWA petitions. In March 2013 Congress enacted several changes to
the William Wilberforce Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) &
Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008(TVPRA)
that affect T and U visa eligibility. T visas are designed for
victims of trafficking in persons, which includes sex trafficking or
labor trafficking. U visas are for victims of certain qualifying
crimes, such as domestic violence and sexual assault, and the victim
must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result
of the crime. To qualify for the U visa, the victim of a qualifying
crime generally must provide assistance to law enforcement. To
qualify for the T visa, a victim is required to cooperate with
reasonable requests from law enforcement related to their
victimization, with limited exceptions. In addition, the
trafficking or crime must have violated the laws of the United
States or occurred in the United States including its territories
and possessions. For T visas, the victim must be physically present
in the United States on account of the trafficking.

In fact, the Visas have been around for some time, except there are new regulations making it easier to obtain for derivatives and some other matters.

Question: What changes were made?

Answer: Unmarried children for whom the
principal applicant has filed a petition before the child turned 21
remain eligible for the visa after they turn 21. The age of the
unmarried child is established and set when the principal applicant
files the U petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS). The law previously did not allow unmarried children of
U visa holders to remain eligible for the visa after they turned 21,
even if they had filed the petition before they turned 21 and had
waited several years to get their visa. In addition, unmarried
children who are the principal applicants now receive age-out
protection in terms of their parents and unmarried siblings under
age 18 being able to qualify as derivative family members. T visas
already afforded age-out protection for children over 21; the law
was changed to mirror T visas in this respect.

Question: What happens if I know somebody who had a case like this, but did his kid already aged out?

Answer: The age-out protection is retroactive. This
means that any principal applicant who filed a U visa petition
before the derivative family member turned 21, and the derivative
family member is now older than 21 and was denied the visa because
he or she had aged out, is now eligible for a visa. The age-out protection for derivative children does not, however, change the requirement that the beneficiary
remain unmarried to be eligible for this visa. If the beneficiary marries before the visa is issued, they will no longer be eligible.

Question: Are there any other changes?Answer: U visa applicants are no longer subject to
the public charge ground of inadmissibility, INA 212(a)(4).
Consequently, applicants are no longer required to submit Affidavits
of Support (I-864). Because public charge is no longer a basis for
inadmissibility, USCIS will no longer apply this inadmissibility.
Therefore, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not need to
issue waivers on the Application for Advance Permission to Enter as
a Nonimmigrant (I-192) on this inadmissibility ground.

T-derivative status has been expanded to include certain adult or minor children of a T-visa
derivative (T-2, T-3, T-4, T-5). These derivatives are the
grandchild (ren), stepchild(ren), niece(s) or nephew(s), and the
sibling(s) of the principal applicant. For the children of a
derivative to qualify for T-derivative status, the child (adult or
minor) must “face a present danger of retaliation as a result of the
alien principal’s escape from the severe form of trafficking or
cooperation with law enforcement.” USCIS will determine what this
means in the context of petition adjudication. Consular officers
will not re-examine the basis for this determination and visa
eligibility, but will issue visas in this new category once USCIS
establishes it. USCIS anticipates this category will be “T-6.”

Question: What about changes to VAWA?

Answer: These applicants are no longer subject to
the public charge inadmissibility, INA 212(a)(4). Consequently,
applicants are no longer required to submit Affidavits of Support
(I-864). Because public charge is no longer a basis for
inadmissibility, USCIS will no longer apply this ineligibility.
Therefore, DHS will not need to issue waivers on these grounds.

Victim of Crime? Sex Trafficking Victim? Domestic Violence Victim? Get a T, U or VAWA Visa

Recent Wins for Law Offices of Brian D. Lerner

U Visa granted for person with crime over 12 years old and officer that did not want to sign the certification
Criminal Relief granted and crime vacated and dismissed. Now he can apply for his Green Card.

I was raped. Now can I get a visa?

I am a victim of crime. Can I get a Visa?

Question: I was raped years ago. I heard there is some type of visa. Can I get this visa?

Answer: You may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa. If You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity. You have to have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.You must have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on your behalf. You had to be helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf.

Question: Where must the crime have occurred?

Answer: The crime had to occur in the United States or violated U.S. Laws.

Question: Must I have been admissible to the U.S.?

Answer: Yes, You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant. Many more types of Waivers are applicable to a U Visa applicant than with other types of visas.

Question: What types of crimes qualify for the U Visa?

Answer: Qualifying Criminal Activities are: 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 and Other Related Crimes.

Even if the particular crime the person was convicted of is not under these items, it is likely that the perpetrator of the crime committed one or more of the above items with you as the victim.

Question: What form is used?

Answer: Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status.

Question: Can I petition for a family member?

Answer: Certain qualifying family members are eligible for a derivative U visa. You may petition on behalf of your spouse, children, parents and unmarried siblings under age 18.

To petition for a qualified family member, you must file a Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Immediate Family Member of U-1 Recipient, at the same time as your application or at a later time.

The U Visa – Part II

The U Visa – Victim of Crime – Part 2

 

Question: If I come forward and try to apply for the U Visa, can ICE deport me?

 

Answer: ICE may not rely solely on information obtained from the perpetrators of the crime against the respondent to initiate removal proceedings and must place a certificate on the NTA indicating that it has complied with 8 U.S.C. §1367.

 

Question: If I’m already in Removal Proceedings, can I still go forward with the U Visa?

 

Answer: A person who may be prima facie eligible for a U visa can seek a joint motion with DHS to continue, stay, or terminate proceedings, to allow for the adjudication of U status.

 

Question: Can I request a Stay of deportation if I already have a deportation order?

 

Answer: A stay of a final order of removal may be granted by DHS when a person files a prima facie U status/visa request. A stay should be favorably considered when the applicant has established prima facie eligibility for a U visa and/or when there are favorable humanitarian factors related to the applicant or his or her close relatives who rely on the applicant for support.

 

Question: Can a Stay of deportation be denied?

 

Answer: A stay is not appropriate where: (1) the applicant is not prima facie eligible; (2) the petition for the U-visa has been denied; or (3) there are serious adverse factors weighing against a stay including (a) national security concerns; (b) evidence that applicant is a human rights violator; (c) evidence that applicant has engaged in significant immigration fraud; (d) applicant has a significant criminal history; and (e) any significant public safety concerns.

 

Question: Are there Waivers of inadmissibility for the U Visa?

 

Answer: All grounds of inadmissibility are waivable by DHS if in the “public or national interest.” However, Inadmissibility is not waived for Nazis, participants in genocide, or persons who committed, ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise participated in torture or extrajudicial killings. If you are inadmissible on criminal or related grounds, USCIS will consider the number and severity of the offenses. In cases involving violent or dangerous crimes or inadmissibility based on security or related grounds, USCIS will only exercise discretion in “extraordinary circumstances.”

 

Question: If the Waiver is denied, can I appeal?

 

Answer: There is no appeal from the denial of the waiver.

USCIS policy memo about legislation affecting the T and U nonimmigrant programs

USCIS policy memo to immigration service officers about legislation affecting the T and U nonimmigrant programs. The INA amendments under the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008 apply to applications filed on or after 12/23/08.

U Humanitarian Visa

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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