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Visas For Victims Of Crime Domestic Violence And Human Trafficking

Victims of Crime, Domestic Violence, and Human Trafficking visa attorney in Jacksonville

You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.

-Bob Marley

U Visa: Immigration Relief for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Other Crimes

Immigrant victims of certain crimes who have been helpful in a criminal investigation or prosecution may qualify for a visa that can lead to a green card. The applicant must first receive law enforcement certification demonstrating their helpfulness in the investigation and/or prosecution. Receiving law enforcement certification is a critical first step in applying for a U-visa.

There is currently a substantial delay in U-visa adjudications. To relieve some of the hardship the delay is causing applicants, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing deferred action to applicants whose U-visas seem approvable, but for whom visas are currently unavailable due only to the backlog and annual cap of 10,000 U-visas per year. If deferred action is granted by USCIS, the applicant is protected from deportation and may apply for work authorization. 

The requirements for U-Nonimmigrant status are:

  1. The applicant must have suffered “substantial physical or mental abuse” as a result of being the victim of certain crimes, including “rape, torture, trafficking, incest, domestic violence, sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, being held hostage, peonage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, false imprisonment, blackmail, extortion, manslaughter, murder, felonious assault, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury, or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of these crimes.” The criminal activity must have violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States or one of its territories or possessions;
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    Over almost 15 years of service, Karen Winston has an impressive record of keeping families together.

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    As an attorney and former law professor, Karen Winston is well-respected before USCIS, courts, and judges.

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    We focus exclusively on Immigration services and are fully prepared for whatever your case may need.

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VAWA: Immigration Relief for Survivors of Domestic Violence

Ab self-petition filed through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows an abused spouse or child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident or an abused parent of a U.S. Citizen to petition for lawful status in the United States, receive employment authorization, and access public benefits. VAWA provides domestic violence survivors with the means that are essential to escaping violence and establishing safe, independent lives. 

Under VAWA, noncitizen victims of domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse may “self-petition” for LPR status without the cooperation of an abusive spouse, parent, or adult child. Victims may also self-petition if they are divorced as long as the marriage to the abusive spouse was terminated within two years of filing the petition, and there is a connection between the divorce and the domestic violence. 

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