u visa lawyer, u visa attorney

U Visa Attorney

Are you a nonimmigrant and a victim of physical or mental abuse? Learn how a U Visa attorney from The Law Office of Serah Waweru can help you get a green card.

Being a victim of crime is unimaginably scary if you're a nonimmigrant. You certainly don't deserve to encounter physical or mental abuse in a foreign country where you barely know the laws or how to report such crimes. Luckily, you can speak to a U visa lawyer about your situation, and they'll be happy to help you stay protected as the law takes its course against the injustices you suffered.

What’s a U Visa?

A U Visa is a special type of visa set aside for nonimmigrant victims who have suffered or are suffering mental and physical abuse due to some crimes qualified by the USCIS. 

One of the reasons the U Visa was created was to help victims of sexual and violent crimes seek help from law enforcement authorities without fear of deportation or detention. Sadly, nonimmigrants and undocumented immigrants are frequent targets for these kinds of crimes because they are easily intimidated by their immigration status. 

As a result, the offenders usually get away with such crimes. 

Some of the crimes that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) qualifies for U visa application include:

  • False imprisonment
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault or exploitation
  • Prostitution
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Involuntary servitude
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Abduction
  • Hostage
  • Torture
  • Other related crimes

There are many other related crimes the USCIS qualifies for this visa that you may not know about. If you’re a victim of these or any other sexual or violent crimes, it’s best to talk to an experienced U Visa attorney from The Office of Serah Waweru. 

Serah Waweru and her team understand the emotional turmoil victims of such crimes endure. For this reason, her office ensures that such victims receive the justice they deserve.

U Visa Eligibility

To be eligible for the U visa application, your case must meet the following criteria. 

  • You are a victim of a qualifying crime;
  • The crime was conducted in the U.S. or violated the U.S. laws;
  • You have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime;
  • You can provide credible information regarding the criminal activity;
  • You have, can, or might help the law enforcement or government with investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. 
  • In addition, your willingness to help must be backed up by a Law Enforcement Certification.

What is the Law Enforcement Certification?

A Law Enforcement Certification is used to prove that you are a victim of the qualifying crime and that you are willing to help law enforcement authorities with investigation and prosecution. It is obtained by completing Form I-918B, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Visa, which a law enforcement agency member must sign.

The perpetrator of the crime doesn’t need to have been convicted of the crime for you to fill this form or to apply for the U visa. However, the biggest challenge is having the form signed by the law enforcement agency member after scrutinizing your story. 

Such cases require the help of an experienced U visa attorney like Serah Waweru and her team.  

Is U Visa a Pathway to U.S. Citizenship? 

Yes, you may eventually obtain U.S. citizenship if your U visa application is accepted. This visa gives you temporary immigration status that’s valid for four years with permission to work and obtain a Social Security Number. 

After three years, you can talk to a U visa attorney about applying for permanent resident status, commonly referred to as a green card, through a process called the Adjustment of Status. 

Can I Sponsor My Family After Getting a U Visa?

Some of your family members can also benefit from your U nonimmigrant status. If you’re under 21 years of age, you may petition on behalf of your children, spouse, parents, and unmarried siblings under the age of 18. If you’re older than 21 years, you can only petition on behalf of your spouse and children. 

Once the petition is accepted, these qualifying family members will be awarded a derivative U visa, allowing them to have temporary immigration status in the U.S., among other benefits.

The petition may be filed along with your U visa application or later on. You’ll need to complete Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient, along with other requirements for filing this petition.

If you’re not sure where to start, talk to The Law Office of Serah Waweru. 

U Visa Requirements Checklist

Several documents need to accompany your application for a green card as a U visa holder. They include:

  • A copy of all pages of your passport or travel document. If you don’t have any, you must provide a valid explanation why you don’t have these documents;
  • Your affidavit attesting to your continuous physical presence in the U.S.;
  • If you traveled out of the U.S. for a period over 90 days or an aggregate of 180 days, you must provide a certificate that proves your absence was linked with the investigation or prosecution of the crime;
  • Two passport-style photos;
  • A copy of any government-issued identity document;
  • A copy of your birth certificate;
  • Certified copies of police and court records if applicable.

Common U Visa Denial Reasons

The USCIS may find you inadmissible even though you are generally not supposed to be denied admission to the U.S. as a U visa holder. U visa denial reasons often involve security issues in the interest of the general public. 

For example, if you participated in the Nazi persecution, genocides, or any form of torture or extrajudicial killings, you are automatically inadmissible to the U.S. and therefore ineligible for green card application.

How Much Does a U Visa Lawyer Charge for U Visa Application?

U Visa attorney fees vary depending on various factors, such as the services they offer or the amount of work to be done on your case. Send us a message online to find out how much it will cost to work on your case. 

Do I Need a U Visa Lawyer For My Petition?

Although it’s not a prerequisite for the U visa application, hiring a lawyer can make a huge difference in your application and other processes. A lawyer understands the different eligibility requirements for U Visa applications and can help evaluate your case and proceed with the application if you qualify. 

How Much Does a U Visa Cost? 

Applying for a U visa with the USCIS is free. However, your attorney will charge a certain fee to help you with your application. Contact The Law Office of Serah Waweru to determine how much it will cost to represent you in your U Visa application.  

What Percentage of U Visas Are Approved?

The approval rate of U visa applications for principal participants is 87%, according to reports by the USCIS. The common reasons for U visa denials are inadmissibility and lack of evidence to support claims made by the victim.

Need an Experienced U Visa Lawyer? Contact The Law Office of Serah Waweru

Do you need help with your U Visa Application? Are you a victim of qualifying crimes, and you don’t know where to start with your application for a U Visa? Talk to The Law Office of Serah Waweru today!