Victims of Crime
If you have been the victim of a crime in the U.S., you may be eligible for certain visas. USCIS offers U visas and T visas, along with legal status through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). These options allow noncitizens to apply for visas, deferred action, or legal permanent residence if they’ve been victimized, even if not reported to police, in certain cases. Smith Immigration and their attorneys have worked extensively with victims and has been successful in obtaining protection for our clients.
Through VAWA, a person must show they’ve been the victim of extreme cruelty or battery at the hands of an abusive LPR or citizen spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent. Applicants can apply without the knowledge of the abuser.
U visas are available to non-citizens who can show physical or mental abuse as victims of certain crimes in the US. The victim must be cooperative with investigative authorities, and only certain crimes qualify. An applicant’s spouse, children and/or parents can also receive a U visa as a derivative applicant. U visas grant work permits to victims (and their derivatives) for 4 years. After 3 years of holding a U, an applicant can apply for permanent residence. U visas are available in limited quantity annually, though a wait list is kept for applicants who meet the requirements when no visas are available.
T visas are available to non-citizens who are victims of human trafficking, indentured servitude, or labor exploitation. Similar to U visas, a visa is given for 4 years, with the option of applying for permanent residence after 3 years.
Contact us if you think you might be eligible for any of these options and want to discuss your circumstances.
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