What family members can qualify for a U visa?
At Quiroga Law Office, PLLC, we will tell you what you need to know about family members who apply for a U visa.
The U visa is a non-immigrant visa that protects victims of violent acts in the United States. A derivative U visa is the one that requested for the relatives of the direct victims of crimes (principal petition).
Some family members are eligible for a derivative U visa that is assigned only if the principal U visa petition is approved.
If the principal petitioner is under 21 years old, he/she can petition his/her spouse (U-2 visa), unmarried children under 21 (U-3), parents (U-4), and unmarried siblings under 18 (U-5).
But if the applicant is over 21, he/she can only petition for his/her spouse (U-2) and unmarried children under 21 (U-3).
The ages of the principal petitioner applicant and their derivatives are determined at the time of the petition.
Requirements to apply for the U visa
To apply for the U visa it is necessary to meet some requirements:
- You must be a victim of a violent crime (robbery, sexual assault, extortion, kidnapping, torture, rape, among others).
- The crime must have happened on US soil.
- You must cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation of that crime.
- This collaboration must be certified by the authorities.
- You must be eligible to stay in the United States.
You will need to fill out the forms and submit them to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will also need to do the same for your eligible family members.
How long does the U visa take after fingerprints?
There is not just one answer to this question. The U visa process, from the beginning of the petition and the fingerprinting to the approval notification, is taking between 4 and 5 years.
Sometimes it can take even longer. This is because only 10,000 of these visas are assigned annually. Once the annual limit is reached, petitioners are placed on a waiting list.
However, there is no established maximum number of visas issued for derivative family members from the principal U visa application.
Once your U visa is approved, you will have legal authorization to stay in the country. Also, you can apply for work authorization.
What crimes does the U visa waive?
One of the great advantages of the U Visa is that besides protecting victims of violent crimes, it also has other benefits.
For example, it allows you to stay in the country while processing, avoiding voluntary departures, and unnecessary waiting times in your country of origin.
Additionally, deportations, unlawful presence, fraud by false documents, or impersonating citizens, can be waived with the U visa. To apply it is necessary to submit a waiver in an additional process.
Remember, it is necessary to consult an immigration attorney to ensure the chances of success in your case.