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Visas for Victims of Criminal Activity.

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Victims of certain criminal activities that either occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws may be eligible to petition for U nonimmigrant status to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Victims must have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the criminal activity and possess information concerning that criminal activity. Law enforcement authorities must also certify that the victim has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.

To be eligible the Applicant must show that:

  1. The crime took place within the U.S.
  2. The victim must have filed a criminal report with a law enforcement agency regarding the crime.
  3. The victim must have suffered significant mental or physical abuse as a result of the crime.
  4. The victim or the victim’s children will suffer if removed or deported from the United States.


If a U visa recipient has not abandoned their status for an extended period of time, you are essentially eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (green card) after meeting the following:

a) An Applicant is required to show physical presence for at least three years in the U.S..

b) The Applicant has not unreasonably refused to cooperate with the law enforcement officials investigating and prosecuting the crime against you, and,

c) The Applicant’s continued presence in the U.S. is justified, either on humanitarian grounds, to ensure family unity, or is in the public interest.

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