Have you been a victim of crime or abuse?

Immigrants can apply for this visa if they are a victim of crime in the US, have information about the crime, and can help local enforcement.

This is a non-immigrant visa awarded for up to four years. U visa card holders are allowed to apply for legal permanent residency after 3 years.

Not all criminal activity can make you eligible for a U Visa. Check the list of qualifying crimes below or ask an immigration attorney today.

This is a time-consuming process where you will need to submit a supplemental certification, inadmissibility waiver, personal statement, evidence of the crime and injury. Learn more below.

What is Unlawful Presence
How to get the green card with U Visa
How Legal Problems Affect Your Green Card

Depending on which statistics you read, unauthorized immigrants are between five and ten times more likely to be victims of crime than others in the United States. Worse, if immigrants are undocumented, they have a significant potential deterrent to reporting crime: the threat of deportation.If you are an unauthorized immigrant and have been the victim of a certain crime, you may be eligible to receive a U visa. This category of visa provides valid nonimmigrant status, legal authorization to work in the United States, and a potential path toward legal permanent residency.If you have been a victim of domestic violence or human trafficking, you may also be eligible for other immigration benefits beyond the U visa. Please review our articles on VAWA petitions and T visas. Also, please remember that immigration law is extremely complex. You should discuss your particular situation with an experienced New Jersey immigration attorney to fully understand all available options.

The U nonimmigrant visa is awarded for a period of up to four years. After three years, the U visa holder may apply for legal permanent residency.


To be eligible for a U visa, you must meet the following criteria:


  • You are the victim of certain types of criminal activity (the qualifying crimes are listed below);
  • You have suffered substantial physical or mental injury because of the criminal activity;
  • You have information about the crime;
  • You were helpful, are helpful, or will be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of the crime;
  • The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. law; and
  • You are admissible to the U.S. (if you are not admissible to the U.S., you may apply for a waiver of your inadmissibility).

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may approve up to 10,000 U visa petitions each year.

As mentioned above, not every criminal activity qualifies for U visa eligibility. The following is a list of crimes that qualify under the U visa rules:

Abduction, abusive sexual contact, blackmail, domestic violence, extortion, false imprisonment, female genital mutilation, felonious assault, fraud in foreign labor contracting, hostage, incest, involuntary servitude, kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, obstruction of justice, peonage, perjury, prostitution, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, slave trade stalking, torture, trafficking, witness tampering, unlawful criminal restraint, and any other crimes where the elements are similar to those on this list.

This list is defined under federal immigration law. In most circumstances, the actual crime was treated by a state law enforcement agency like the police or prosecutor’s office under state law. An experienced New Jersey immigration attorney at Andres Mejer Law can evaluate the state crime from the perspective of federal law to see if the elements of the State crime are the same or similar to the federal requirement.

Again, you must have helped law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of one of the above crimes to be eligible for a U visa. Many different activities may qualify as assisting law enforcement. Calling the police, answering police questions, being interviewed by the prosecutor, testifying in court, etc. are all ways in which you may have assisted law enforcement.

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The application process for a U visa can be time-consuming. The applicant must gather considerable supporting documentation to increase his or her odds of being approved for U nonimmigrant status.

The following is general information regarding the documentation necessary to prove eligibility for U nonimmigrant status. Again, immigration law is extraordinarily complicated. You should discuss your case with an experienced New Jersey immigration lawyer prior to pursuing any immigration benefits.


In addition to the I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, you must submit a supplemental certification from an authorized law enforcement official certifying that you were/are/will be helpful in the investigation and prosecution of criminal activity. This can frequently be the toughest part of the case. A law enforcement agency like the police, prosecutor, or judge must be convinced to sign the form in order for you to apply to immigration. They are usually not well informed about this process. Educating them is often the key to get the certification signed.

Inadmissibility Waiver

If you are not admissible to the United States you must file a waiver application. Your U nonimmigrant status cannot be approved until your waiver is approved. You probably need a waiver if you are in the country without authorization, have been deported and returned to the U.S. illegally, have committed a crime, suffer from certain diseases, or have addiction issues.

Personal Statement

Perhaps the most important component of your petition for U status is your personal statement. Tell your story. Your personal statement is your only opportunity to explain everything that happened to you, what injury you suffered, any treatments you are receiving, how you provided assistance to law enforcement, etc. You should also use your personal statement to explain why you should be granted a waiver for whatever reason you are inadmissible.

Evidence of the Crime

Even though you must submit a certification from law enforcement with your petition, you also want to provide as much information as you can about the crime. Trial transcripts, police reports, court documents, news articles, affidavits, orders of protection, etc. are all valuable evidence of the crime.

Evidence of Injury

You must provide credible evidence that proves you suffered substantial injury as the result of the crime. This should include medical records; affidavits from doctors, psychologists, counselors, etc.; photographs of injuries; affidavits from friends and family about the injury; etc.If any documentation is not in English, you should obtain a certified translation.

Applying for Permanent Residency

Approval of U nonimmigrant status will allow you to live and work in the United States for a period of up to four years. During this time, you should be certain to continue to cooperate with law enforcement regarding criminal activity. After three years of U nonimmigrant status, you may apply for legal permanent residency.Being the victim of a crime can be demoralizing and dehumanizing. If you are a crime victim and are an unauthorized immigrant, you do not have to be afraid to report the crime and cooperate with law enforcement. Doing so likely will empower you, and you might end up with a green card. Andres Mejer, an immigration lawyer, is available to help.

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"I didn’t know I could get documents… that there was help out there…Andres Mejer Law made me feel comfortable to trust them with my whole life."

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"Mr. Quiyu was able to successfully petition for a green card for himself and his wife through the help of Andres Mejer."

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"Ms. Cartagena successfully filed her VAWA petition. As a result, she was able to live without the fear of deportation or losing her kids."

Planning to get a green card through a U  Visa? Learn if you qualify.

What Are You Waiting For?

People often put off seeing a doctor until it is too late. The same is true when it comes to immigration. Immigration problems often get worse with time, not better. You’re risking your family, your freedom and all that you work so hard for by not getting the care you need. You can find out right now if you may already qualify for legal status in the US. Just click below or call Andres Mejer Law to schedule a comprehensive immigration exam. It is free, so what are you waiting for?


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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?)*

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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.

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Idioma Preferido*

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Fecha Nacimiento*

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Pais de Nacimiento*

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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?

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