U visas or green cards may be available to non-immigrants who have suffered from certain crimes in Florida, such as physical or mental abuse. A Miami U visa lawyer at The Black Law Company may be able to help you if you are a Florida non-resident and have been the victim of crime. Our Miami U Visa lawyers can examine your case, explain whether you qualify for this type of green card, and guide you through the application process.
Understanding U Visas
In 2000, Congress created U visas to assist the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies in prosecuting certain types of crimes. The U visa is designed to encourage victims to come forward and report violent crimes, abuse, sexual assaults, or human trafficking. Many victims and survivors of violent crimes are afraid to come forward for fear of being detained or expelled. Undocumented immigrants become targets of criminals because of this. The U visa encourages victims to work with law enforcement agencies and come forward so that justice can prevail.
U Visa Eligibility
The following requirements are applicable to people applying for U visas:
U.S.-identified qualified crime victim Citizenship and Immigration Services
Victims suffered severe mental or physical abuse
Victims can give information about crimes to authorities
Victims assist law enforcement in their investigation and prosecution.
The crime was committed in the U.S.
The victim is admissible, or they can obtain a waiver from inadmissibility
Criminals that qualify for punishment
Undocumented immigrants who commit the following crimes are eligible to apply for U Visas, provided they also meet all other requirements.
- Domestic Violence
- Sexual Abuse
- Hostage situation
- Female genital mutilation
- False imprisonment
- Involuntary service
- Criminal restraint
- Slavery trade
- Sexual assault
- Sexual exploitation
- Related crimes
Some crimes that are similar to those listed above may qualify. Miami U visa attorneys can help you review your situation to determine if you qualify.
Law Enforcement Certification
You will need to obtain a law enforcement certification by filling out Form I-918B before you can apply for a U visa. You must demonstrate that you will cooperate with the law enforcement agency in its investigation or prosecution of the case. A member of law enforcement, such as a prosecutor or police officer, will have to sign the form.
U Visa Benefits
You will receive the following benefits if you are granted a U Visa:
Temporary Immigration Status and Work Authorization
Your family members who qualify for temporary status
Possibility of obtaining status as a permanent lawful resident
You will be able to live in the United States for four years after your U visa has been issued. After three years, you can speak to your Miami U Visa attorney at The Black Law Company about your eligibility for the green card.
You will need to fill out Form I-918, and an authorized law enforcement official must sign it. This is to certify that you are willing or able to assist in the investigation and prosecution a crime of which you have been the victim.
Change of Status
After you’ve held your U Visa for three years, the process to change your status from temporary residence to permanent residency can be started. You will need to fill out Form I-485, and meet all the requirements.
File Form I-485
Legally admitted with the U-1 visa for nonimmigrants
Maintain a presence in the U.S. continuously for at least three years after being admitted as a U visa holder
Your presence is deemed in the public’s interest, and to be good for humanitarian and family purposes.
You will not be eligible if you participated in an act of murder or torture or in events that qualify as genocide, Nazi persecution or acts of torture.
Speak to a Miami immigration lawyer
The Black Law Company’s experienced Miami Immigration Lawyers are committed to helping clients find the immigration solutions that best suit their situation. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation if you believe you may be eligible for a U visa.
This post was written by Okoye Morgan Jr., a lawyer with extensive knowledge as a personal injury lawyer in Tampa, FL. Okoye is one of the founding partners of The Black Law Company, specializing in personal injury law, trust and estate law, civil litigation law, and criminal defense.
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