USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

U Visa Information

The U visa classification was established by the Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of 2000 to encourage undocumented immigrants to report crimes and contribute to criminal investigations; however, regulations for granting U visas were not published until 2007. The U visa grants eligible survivors of crime temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for up to 4 years. If certain conditions are met, an individual may eventually adjust to lawful permanent resident status. Certain family members may also be included on the petition, depending on the age of the applicant. Only 10,000 U visas may be issued every fiscal year. According to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, in 2012 USCIS processing times for U visa petitions were nine months. As of May 2013, USCIS processing times were 15 months.


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