Providing Legal Help For People Who Have Suffered
U.S. immigration law provides certain protections for victims of domestic abuse, human trafficking, and other serious crimes. Additionally, the government may confer immigration status and provide a visa to crime victims or those who have knowledge of a crime and are willing to assist in the criminal investigation of that crime. At Becker & Lee LLP, we provide support, advocacy, and advice to clients who have been victimized in the United States. We can assist you to obtain a visa for crime victims if your case relates to any of the following:
U Visa for Crime Victims and U Nonimmigrant Status
Victims of certain crimes can apply for U nonimmigrant status and obtain work authorization for up to four years. Applicants for U status can also petition for some family members. A person with U visa status can usually apply for permanent residency after being in valid U status for three years. The U visa petition can be accompanied by an application that waives unlawful entry and other immigration violations.
To be eligible for a U visa, a person must prove that he or she has been a victim of certain crimes and, as a result, has suffered substantial physical and/or mental hardship. Additionally, the applicant must be helpful in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime. In order to be eligible for the U visa, a government official (usually a law enforcement agency such as the Police Department or District Attorney’s Office ) must sign a U visa certification form, which must be filed along with the U visa petition.
At Becker & Lee LLP, we have successfully represented many U visa applicants. If you or a family member has been the victim of a crime, contact our U visa lawyers to learn if you may be eligible for immigration relief.
T Nonimmigrant Status
T Nonimmigrant status is a visa for crime victims in human trafficking. Eligible individuals include foreign nationals who were forced into labor or sex work while in the United States. In order to qualify, certain requirements must be met, including proof of the crime, and a willingness of the individual to help in the investigation/prosecution of the trafficker. Unlike the U visa, however, a T visa applicant does not need to obtain a law enforcement agency certification that his or her participation in an investigation is necessary.
S Nonimmigrant Status
A person who possesses reliable information regarding a crime (including a crime that has not yet been committed) may qualify for an S visa. Under a S nonimmigrant visa for crime victims, the individual must be willing to share this information with law enforcement officials and/or testify in court, and show that his or her presence in the U.S. is necessary for the prosecution of the case.
Violence Against Women Act
Individuals who have been abused physically or mentally by a current or former Legal Permanent Resident or U.S. Citizen spouse may qualify for permanent residency in the United States. Learn more about options for domestic violence victims through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Contact Us For Assistance
If you need a visa for crime victims, contact our law firm in Oakland, California. Our attorneys can help you understand how these immigration options may apply to you and your family.