U visas offer many benefits for immigrants wishing to stay in the United States. Those who obtain this immigration status will be able to enroll in universities, obtain driver’s licenses, and open bank accounts. Only specific individuals will qualify for a U visa. If you have questions about how to obtain one, speak to a Marietta U visa lawyer. A trustworthy immigration attorney could provide you with all that you need to know in order make this process go as smoothly as possible.
Who Qualifies for a U Visa?
An immigrant can qualify for a U visa if they report a crime and contribute to an investigation and prosecution. The law that created this type of visa works to encourage individuals to report crimes regardless of their immigration status. In the past, individuals with questionable immigration status might be victims of a crime but feared contacting law enforcement to report it, or serve as witnesses, because they might face deportation.
Noncitizens who are victims of a qualifying crime now have a potential opportunity to pursue legal immigration status when they report it to the authorities. Qualifying crimes include domestic violence, sexual abuse, felonious assault, kidnapping, and other severe criminal offenses. Certain family members of the victim may also qualify for this type of visa.
The first step in pursuing a U visa is to obtain certification, which is a document stating that the person was a crime victim, and helped law enforcement throughout their investigation and prosecution of the offender. It can be difficult and intimidating to pursue this type of visa. Fortunately, hiring a U visa lawyer in Marietta might help someone navigate the system without fear.
Work Permits on a U Visa
If a party qualifies for a U visa, either as the principal applicant or a family member, they may have the right to work in the United States. The visa will typically come with a four-year work permit.
Still, many people may face a period where they cannot legally work in the United States while they are waiting to obtain their visa. It is crucial that they comply with legal requirements mandated by their visas, as violations can impact their immigration status.
Obtaining a Green Card When Using a U Visa
Immigrants in the United States who are on U visas can apply for a green card or lawful permanent resident status. Before applying, they must ensure that they meet all legal requirements, including the following:
- Physically living in the United States for at least three years
- Physically present in the United States, without an interruption, for 90 days in a row or 180 days total, with certain exceptions related to law enforcement investigations
- Having a valid U visa at the time of their application, and no past revocation of their visa
Other requirements also apply, including that the applicant always complies with law enforcement throughout the investigation of the crime that led to the immigrant’s U visa status.
Obtaining a green card is one step on the path to United States citizenship. If a person lives in the United States as a legal permanent resident for five years, they might qualify for naturalization. Immigration is a long and technical process, but hiring a lawyer in Marietta to assist with U visas and other immigration matters might make the process easier.
Hire a Marietta U Visa Attorney for Assistance
Obtaining a U visa stems from a traumatic event. If you are seeking a visa through this process, you will undoubtedly have to engage with law enforcement as well as immigration officials. Having an advocate on your side might help ensure that government officials do not violate your rights. Speak to a Marietta U visa lawyer today to discuss your case.