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U Visas

U-visas visas are for victims of a crime or criminal activity. If you think you qualify for a U-visa, contact our office to explore your immigration options.

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What is A U-Visa?

In October of 2000, Congress established the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. The U visa is for those individuals who have been victims of criminal activity and who suffered mental and/or physical abuse as a result. This visa is intended to protect and assist the victims of criminal activities, as well as help them obtain a path to lawful permanent residency and citizenship. It also is intended to assist authorities in their investigation and prosecution of crimes.

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Do you need to speak with a Lawyer?

Shoreline Immigration lawyers are avaliable to answer your questions about the U Visarelief visa. Give us a call or fill out a contact us form to schedule a consultation today.

Questions about a U Visa?

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Yes. The limit of U visas granted each year is 10,000. This cap does not, however, include derivative family members. There is currently a large backlog of cases waiting to be processed and put on a waiting list for approval or denial.

Because of the backlog of U visa petitions waiting to get on a waiting list for approval or denial, USCIS has created the U Nonimmigrant Bona Fide Determination (BFD) to help individuals gain deferred action and employment authorization (EAD) while waiting for their cases to be processed. The BFD applies to all I-918 or I-918A petitions that are currently pending, and those who submit a petition after June 14, 2021.

USCIS will determine whether a U petition is Bona Fide by establishing that the principal petitioner has properly filed a complete and signed I-918 application. This must include the I-918 Supplemental B law enforcement certification that must be signed no more than six months prior to the submission of the case and a personal statement recounting the events of the crime and the victimization. The petitioner must also be living within the United States. Those outside the United States will not be eligible for deferred action nor a work authorization permit. Furthermore, if the BFD is denied for any reason, their family members, or derivatives, will also be ineligible. A background and security check will also be issued to ensure that the petitioner is not a risk to national security or public safety.

Yes. If the cap has been reached and you are put on a waiting list, you may be eligible to apply for employment authorization while you wait for approval. Contact an immigration attorney today to find out if you may be eligible for work authorization while your U visa case is pending.


It is not advisable to travel outside the U.S. while your U visa case is pending, or even after you are approved for a U visa. If you must travel for emergency purposes, contact an immigration attorney prior to making travel arrangements. A qualified immigration attorney can best advise you on the risks of traveling with a pending or approved U visa.

It may be possible to appeal the decision, depending on the reason for denial. Contact an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

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