How long does it take for residency through a U Visa?
Can a U visa holder become a permanent resident of the United States? At Quiroga Law Office, PLLC, we will give you the answer to this and other questions.
When a person obtains his/her U visa, with it they are granted a nonimmigrant status that authorizes them to legally stay in the country. Besides, the person can also apply for a work permit, each of them valid for 4 years.
Although nonimmigrant status is not equivalent to being a permanent resident or a citizen, it does provide the opportunity to begin the process towards residency.
After the third year of having the U visa, the holder can apply for permanent residence in the country (Green Card) through a process known as adjustment of status.
Also read: Who is eligible for adjustment of status?
Requirements for residency through U Visa
To apply for the Green Card there are some requirements. The applicant must:
- Properly apply for adjustment of status.
- Have a U-1 nonimmigrant status.
- Have been physically present in the United States for three continuous years since admission under U-1 status, as well as at the time of application.
- Stay in the country while USCIS notifies the decision on the immigration case.
- Have helped in the investigation or prosecution of the crime since the admission to U-1 status.
- Show the need to be present in the United States for humanitarian reasons, to ensure family unity or public interest.
The procedure must be done before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The applicant must fill out the forms and pay their respective fees. Also, submit the documents that USCIS asks to support the request.
There is no set waiting time for adjustment of status. Factors such as the processing center and the type of adjustment make it vary.
For example, in Seattle, the waiting time for adjustment of status is 9 to 24.5 months, while in Spokane and Yakima, it varies from 9.5 to 29.5 months.
The applicants can also check the waiting time for processing according to their state here.
Can you travel with the U Visa?
One of the requirements you must fulfill to be granted adjustment of status is to remain in the country while USCIS responds to your application.
It is possible to apply for advance parole, however only your immigration attorney will know if it is possible to do so in your case.
Remember that leaving the country during the process is penalized by USCIS and may imply that the applicant abandoned his/her application, even when that is not the intention.
If this is your case and you were absent for a period of more than 90 days, or for periods that exceed 180 days, you must certify that your absence was necessary for the investigation of the crime.
Before making the decision to leave the country while waiting for an adjustment of status, consult with your immigration attorney. This way you will be sure of what to do.
At Quiroga Law Office, PLLC, we are willing to help. We can advise you with the immigration procedures that you and your family need.
Do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of lawyers will take care of your case and will be with you throughout the process.
Request a consultation or call us, (509) 498-3485.