If you have been the victim of a crime- you might qualify for a lawful immigration status in the United States known as the “U Visa” (U Non Immigrant Status)
If you have been the victim (direct or indirect) of certain serious crimes in the U.S., you might be eligible for the U Visa.
Types of qualifying crimes include:
• Abusive Sexual Contact
• Domestic Violence
• False Imprisonment
• Female Genital Mutilation
• Felonious Assault
• Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
• Involuntary Servitude
• Obstruction of Justice
• Sexual Assault
• Sexual Exploitation
• Slave Trade
• Witness Tampering
• Unlawful Criminal Restraint
• Other Related Crimes
You may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if:
- You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity. The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
- You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.
- You have information about the criminal activity.
- You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf.
If you are the surviving family member of a victim of homicide, you may be able to qualify for the “U Visa.”
Benefits of the “U Visa”:
An approved applicant for the U visa will receive:
- Work Authorization for 4 years *
- Protection against Deportation*
- Path to Lawful Permanent Resident Status in 3 years*
* If the applicant maintains eligibility
It is posible under certain circumstances to include family members (Parents, Spouse, Children, and Siblings).
Why should I obtain legal help from an Attorney? Can’t a notary public, Immigration Consultant or my tax preparer complete these forms for me?
It does not take a lot of skill to fill out a form- you need to know whether or not you should!
Do I qualify? Are there risks to applying? Do I have alternative relief options?
Under California State Law, only a licensed Attorney or BIA Accredited Representative with a BIA Recognized Non Profit Organization can answer these questions, provide legal advice, and represent you in your immigration case!
Notary Publics, Immigration Consultants, and others do not have the knowledge, experience, or license to ASSESS your immigration case, and under California State Law, it is AGAINST THE LAW for them to provide legal advice (Even the Immigration Consultants cannot legally provide advice).
Here is some more helpful information directly from the State of California Department of Justice and the Attorney General http://oag.ca.gov/consumers/general/immigration_consultants
CA Business & Professions Code § 6125
§ 6125. No person shall practice law in California unless the person is an active member of the State Bar.
§ 6125. (a) Any person advertising or holding himself or herself out as practicing or entitled to practice law or otherwise practicing law who is not an active member of the State Bar, or otherwise authorized pursuant to statute or court rule to practice law in this state at the time of doing so, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a county jail or by a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the person shall be confined in a county jail for not less than 90 days, except in an unusual case where the interests of justice would be served by imposition of a lesser sentence or a fine. If the court imposes only a fine or a sentence of less than 90 days for a second or subsequent conviction under this subdivision, the court shall state the reasons for its sentencing choice on the record.
It is not easy or simple to prepare a U visa application packet, if you entered the United States unlawfully, entered lawfully but your permission to remain in the US has expired, you have ever been convicted of any crime, you have had previous immigration contact, you have been deported, you have entered the US using false documents, have claimed to be a Lawful Permanent Resident or US Citizen in order to enter the US or work in the US, if you have registered to vote, or so many other situations or complications apply to your case, you will need to include a waiver of inadmissibility with your application.
With the knowledge and experience of an Immigration Attorney, with a license to practice in the State of California on your side, you can avoid unnecessary delay, legal complications, and headaches. In the law offices of Gomez & Douat, LLP we will help you understand the entire legal process, which family members can be included, the particular legal risks in your case, and what alternative relief options are available to you. We will guide you throughout the entire process. Both attorneys, Rosa Gómez & Verónica Douat, speak Spanish and have a combined experience of working on and filing hundreds of these cases.
To obtain more information related to the U Visa, please call us at (408) 780-1015 today to schedule your consultation, or visit our contact page. We have helped people from all over the world, Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras with this process and we are prepared to represent you on your case.