The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse
A UVisa gives applicants work authorization for 4 years and with 3 years of having that authorization, they can apply for residency.
You may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if: You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity. 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. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on your behalf (see glossary for definition of ‘next friend’). You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf. The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws. You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.
To apply (petition) for a U nonimmigrant status, submit: Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification. The Form I-918, Supplement B, must be signed by an authorized official of the certifying law enforcement agency (PDF, 948.64 KB) and the official must confirm that you were helpful, and currently being helpful, or will likely be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the case. If any inadmissibility issues are present, you must file a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant, to request a waiver of the inadmissibility; A personal statement describing the criminal activity of which you were a victim; and Evidence to establish each eligibility requirement - visit our Forms section, specifically the Humanitarian Benefits Based Forms.
Sara Fain, Immigration Institute of the Bay Area
Shah Peerally, Peerally Law Group