Get a Green Card Through U-Visa

U-Visa Green Card Application

Are you an immigrant victimized by violent crime? Are you willing to assist in the investigation of criminal activity? Victims of serious crimes can achieve legal status and acquire a green card through U-Visas. Andres Mejer Law shares everything you need to know about how to get a green card through the U-Visa application process: the benefits you’ll get, application requirements, taking the family with you, and avoiding common grounds for visa denials.

U-Visa for U.S. Crime Victims

The U-visa was created to help the United States law enforcement officials target criminals off the street. Often, when immigrants fall victim to severe physical or mental abuse, they refrain from speaking to the police in fear of potential legal repercussions. U visa holders not only receive protection for themselves but are also able to have their entire families achieve legal status and later on achieve green cards.

Immigrants awarded with a U-visa can legally reside in the US for up to 4 years. What’s more, they become eligible to apply as a legal permanent resident three years after. If the victim has a family, then this immigrant visa may also be extended to a spouse or minor children with no immigration status in the U.S. 

With a U-Visa, cardholders are authorized to work, register for a social security number, apply for a driver’s license, and even apply for some public benefits without worrying about the public charge requirements for a green card.

U-Visa Qualifying Conditions

To be an eligible applicant for U Visas, you must meet the following conditions:

    1. Victim of a qualifying crime. You must be a victim of a qualifying criminal activity in the United States.  This includes violent crimes, enslavement crimes, sexual crimes, crimes for obstruction of justice, and fraud. It also includes crimes that are not “completed” such as attempted crimes, solicitation, or conspiracy. 
      • Violent crimes: murder, manslaughter, vehicular homicide, robbery, assault, domestic violence, stalking
      • Enslavement Crimes: criminal restraint, kidnapping, abduction, forced labor, slavery, human trafficking, indentured or debt servitude, and false imprisonment.
      • Sexual Crimes: rape, incest, sexual trafficking, sexual assault, prostitution, sexual exploitation, and female genital mutilation
      • Obstruction of Justice Crimes: perjury, witness tampering, withholding of evidence
      • Fraud. Crimes in foreign labor contracting 
    2. Serious injuries. You must have proof that you suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of one of the qualifying crimes. The Immigration Office will consider the severity of the injury, duration of abuse, and likelihood of causing permanent damage when reviewing your visa application. 
    3. Information about a crime. You must have data about one of the listed violent crimes. For minor or disabled applicants, your parent, guardian, or friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf.
  • Assistance in a criminal investigation. You need to show that you will be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime you suffered. Again, for applicants with disabilities or children, a proxy may assist law enforcement for them.
  1. Law Enforcement Certification. Government agencies such as the police or prosecutor investigating the crime you reported must sign Form I-918 Supplement B, also known as the Law Enforcement Certification for you.
  2. U.S. admissibility. You must be admissible to the United States. If you are inadmissible, you must request a waiver (USCIS Form I-192) to address issues such as Illegal entry, Orders of removal, or other serious crimes. For more information about waivers, consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

Common Mistakes in U-Visa Applications

Forgetting the Law Enforcement Certification. Forgetting this in your application almost leads to a 100% chance of denial.

No grounds of inadmissibility. Your application will be rejected if you left out this portion in your I-192 waiver form. You have to disclose everything that might make you ineligible for legal status in the US. This is why immigration lawyers from Andres Mejer Law perform a full background search with the FBI and all 7 immigration agencies to make sure possible concerns are caught early.

Leaving out dependents in your petition.  If you marry prior to filling for a U-Visa, you get to extend it to your spouse and kids. Another example of a missed opportunity is not including your minor children before you apply, or your kids marry leaving them disqualified. 

Giving up on your Law enforcement Certification request. When you send a letter to the police requesting this document, don’t give up if you don’t get a signature. Any agency with investigatory authority could actually sign the form.  Ask all of them before you give up.
Not filing if the abuser has no conviction. Assuming you were a victim of the qualifying crime, you reported it to the police, and you assisted in the investigation, you’ll be able to meet the criteria even if the abuser wasn’t convicted.

Delaying Your Application. Only 10k visas are issued each year. It is taking over 4 years to get the U-visa from when you apply. 

Extending U-Visas to Family

Dependents. If you have dependents whom you want to apply a U-Visa with, there are certain forms that you need to fill up and submit for each dependent. Qualified dependents for victims over 21 years old are spouses, and children under 21, while potential derivatives for immigrant victims (with no U.S. immigration status) under 21 are a spouse, unmarried children under 21, parents, and unmarried siblings under 18.

After-acquired spouse. If you married after you received your U Visa, your spouse can’t get a U-visa through your process.  In order to qualify, you must have been married before you applied. But when you apply for a green card (I-485), your spouse could also file by filing the Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant (I-929). However, your spouse can’t be approved until after your I-485 is approved. In addition to proving your relationship with your spouse, you must demonstrate that if the spouse isn’t allowed to stay in the US with you,  you will experience “extreme hardship”.

Green Card Requirements for U Visa Holders

If you already got your U Visa application approved, you are eligible to apply for legal permanent residency. Below are the conditions you need to meet when getting a green card:

Continuously present in the US for 3 years. If you are traveling outside the U.S., a trip should not last for 90 days or you should not have been out for a total of 180 days. Although it is best not to travel, if you need to, make sure to document when you left and when you entered and to file for advance parole

Cooperation with Law Enforcement. You must not have unreasonably refused to cooperate when law enforcers are investigating or prosecuting the crime against you. As of July 31, 2019 the USCIS encouraged law enforcement to limit the issuance of these certificates or disavow immigrants who don’t cooperate. Make sure to document each meeting you had with law enforcement to explain how you have been helpful. If you refuse a request to cooperate you will need to explain the reasons.

Justified U.S. presence. Your presence in the US is justified on humanitarian reasons, to ensure family unity, or is in the public interest. Since a green card is a completely discretionary benefit, you must prove that you deserve it. To do so, you will need to show your family ties to the US, achievements, accomplishments, or any reason you or your family would suffer hardship if you returned to your country.

Admissibility. You are not inadmissible to the US because of participation in Nazi persecution, genocide, or extrajudicial killings. 

You can apply for a green card through the U visa with guidance from our experienced immigration lawyers at Andres Mejer Law. When you reach out to us regarding green card applications, we look into three things: whether you qualify for a U-visa or green card, whether there is something that can disqualify you, and whether we can fix the client. Since each client can have different circumstances, each visa application can have a different fee. 

If you’re wondering how much the process will cost you, our legal representatives will help you determine the amount based on the information you provide about your case. In general, there is an application process to pay for, and additional fees can be added if you need to order documents from immigration or the criminal courts, want to have a background search, need help to become eligible, or planning to bring family members.

Our immigration attorneys offer green card application petitions for U visa holders who acquired their visa through our law firm and even those who already have U visas. Get started in becoming one of the U.S. legal permanent residents by getting a case evaluation from Andres Mejer Law today.

Share This Post!

Related Posts

Call Us Today!

New Jersey Immigration Attorney

We're here 24/7.
Call Now!

Eatontown, NJ


286 RT 35
Unit D
Eatontown, NJ 07724


Lakewood, NJ


212 2nd Street
Suite 104
Lakewood, NJ 08701


Newark, NJ


50 Park Place
Suite #1101
Newark, NJ 07102


Edison, NJ


1929 NJ-27
Edison, NJ 08817


1065 US-22 Suite 2B
Bridgewater Township, NJ 08807


Freehold, NJ


36 W Main St, Suite 302,
Freehold, NJ 07728


Copyright 2022 Provencher and Flatt, LLP - All Rights Reserved. Powered by Advantage Attorney Marketing & Cloud Solutions

Free Deportation Risk Assessment

Where you ever caught at by immigration and returned to your country? (¿Dónde alguna vez te pilló inmigrando y regresaste a tu país?)*

Have you ever been arrested for any reason? (¿Alguna vez te han arrestado por alguna razón?)*

How many times have been arrested? (¿Cuántas veces han sido arrestados?)*

Were you arrested for any of the following reasons? (Check all that apply) (¿Te arrestaron por alguna de las siguientes razones?)

Have you ever filed for an immigration benefit and been denied? (¿Alguna vez ha presentado un beneficio de inmigración y se le ha negado?)*

Have you entered the US illegally more than once after 1997? (¿Ha entrado ilegalmente en los Estados Unidos más de una vez después de 1997?)*

Do you owe back child support? (¿Debes manutención infantil?)*

Arrested in New Jersey

Request Your Free Copy

Solicite su copia gratuita

Immigration Book

Request Your Free Copy

Solicite su copia gratuita

Immigration Attorney

Request Your Free Copy

Solicite su copia gratuita

Find Out Immediately If You Qualify for Legal Status


Your privacy is important to us. We will keep the information you provide strictly confidential. We only use your information to determine if you may be eligible for immigration benefits in the United States. The information we provide should not be construed as legal advice and submission of this form does not create an attorney/client relationship.

Ingrese la siguiente información para aceptar los términos y condiciones.

Enter the following information to accept the terms and conditions.

Start Here!

Información Personal / Personal Information


Idioma Preferido*

Preferred Language

Fecha Nacimiento*

Date of Birth

Pais de Nacimiento*

Country of Birth

Entradas a las EEUU / Entries into the US


Fecha Entrada*

Date of Entry

Entrada Legal*

Did you enter legally?



¿Tiene usted padres, conyuge o hijos mayores de 21 anos,Que ha estado o esta en las fuerzas armadas Americanas?*

Do you have a parent, spouse, or child over 21 who is or was in the US military?

¿Tiene usted padres,conyuge o hijos mayores de 21 anos, ciudadanos Americanos o residentes permanentes?*

Do you have a parent, spouse, or child over 21 who is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident?

¿Ha tenido usted, sus padres o sus abuelos un estado legal en los EEUU?*

Did you, your parents, or your grandparents ever have legal status in the U.S.?

¿Esta considerando matrimonio con us ciudadano Americano o residente permanente? ( mismo sexo incluido)*

Are you considering marriage to a US citizen or green card holder (same-sex marriage included)?



¿Alguien ha peticionado a su favor por motivos de inmigración?*

Has anyone ever filed an immigration petition for you before?

¿Ha sido usted deportado o esta usted en procedimiento de deportación ahora?*

Have you ever been deported or are you in deportation proceedings now?

Ha sido abusado por sus padres, conyuge o hijo mayor de edad?*

Has your parent, spouse, or adult child been abusive to you?

¿Si es asi, fue previo a Abril 30 del 2001?*

If so, was it before April 30, 2001?



¿Fue usted, conyuge, sus padres, pareja o sus hijos victimas de de un crimen violento en los EEUU?*

Were you, your parents, siblings, spouse, partner, or children a victim of a violent crime in the US?

¿Es usted menor de 21 años y soltero?*

Are you under 21 and not married?

¿Tiene usted un padre, conyuge o hijo menor de 15 anos con requerimientos especiales médicos (dificultades de estudio, alergias severas, asma u otra condición medica severa)?*

Do you have a parent, spouse, or child under 15 with medical or special needs (learning disability, severe allergies or asthma, or other serious medical condition)?

¿Fue usted maltratado, abusado o abandonado por sus padres?*

Did your parents mistreat, abuse, or abandon you?



¿Tenia usted 30 anos o menos en Junio, 15, 2012?*

Were you 30 years or under on June 15, 2012?

¿Tenía usted 15 años o menos en su primera entrada en los EEUU?*

Were you 15 years old or younger on your first entry into the US?

Click below now to see if you qualify!

¡Haga clic abajo ahora para ver si califica!

New Jersey Immigration Attorney

Get Instant Access

Enter your name and email address below to get instant access.

New Jersey Immigration Attorney

¡Obtenga acceso instantáneo ahora!

Ingrese su nombre y dirección de correo electrónico a continuación