Am I Eligible to Apply for a U Visa? | What to Know

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Am I Eligible to Apply for a U Visa? | What to Know

If an illegal immigrant is the victim of a serious crime, they may be entitled to a U visa. Contact our firm today to discuss your options with an experienced New York immigration attorney. Our firm can help.

What is a U visa?

A U visa was created for crime victims and their immediate family members who have sustained serious mental or physical abuse and would like to assist law enforcement and other government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. This was designed with the intention of increasing law enforcement agencies’ ability to investigate and prosecute cases concerning domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. The ultimate purpose of this visa is to protect victims.

The U visa runs by allowing an individual to become a Lawful Permanent Resident if they have had a perpetual physical presence in the United States while keeping their U Visa status. It is also relevant to note that these visas are limited to 10,000 per year, but do there is no limit for family members such as spouses, children, or other eligible members.

Who is eligible to apply for a U visa?

In order to be able to apply for a U visa, there are six requirements that must be met. The requirements are as follows:

  • The applicant must have been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity.
  • The applicant must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse.
  • The applicant must be willing to provide information concerning the crime.
  • The applicant must assist in the investigation.
  • The criminal activity occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
  • The applicant is admissible to the United States under current law.

What crimes qualify for this visa?

There are many crimes that qualify for a U Visa in the United States. These crimes include the following:

  • Domestic violence
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Human trafficking

Am I able to extend a U visa?

Usually, a U visa is valid for four years. However, an extension may be available if:

  • Requested by law enforcement,
  • Needed based on exceptional circumstances,
  • Needed due to delays in consular processing, or
  • Automatically extended upon the filing of an application for adjustment of status.

It is in your best interest to reach out to our experienced law firm today to learn more about U visas. Our New York City immigration attorneys are dedicated to supporting you and your family.


Katona & Associates, PLLC is an experienced, highly dedicated New York City immigration law firm located in lower Manhattan. Our firm works with clients in all matters of immigration law, including employment immigration, family immigration, deportation defense, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us to discuss your case and get the help you need.

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