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  • Writer's pictureMauricio Torres Sanchez

U Non-Immigrant Visa or Status for Victims of Criminal Activity

What is the U Visa or Status?

The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is an immigration benefit granted to victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

In October 2000, the U.S. Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act), which authorizes a total of 10,000 “visas” per year.

This U visa or status was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of noncitizens and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of 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.

  • You are admissible to the United States or are eligible to apply for a waiver.

What crimes qualify to apply for the U Visa or Status?


Abusive Sexual Contact


Domestic Violence


False Imprisonment

Female Genital Mutilation

Felonious Assault

Fraud in Foreign Labor



Involuntary Servitude




Obstruction of Justice





Sexual Assault

Sexual Exploitation

Slave Trade




Witness Tampering

Unlawful Criminal Restraint

To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys and discuss your questions regarding the U visa and determine if you qualify to apply for this benefit, please click HERE.

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