What immigrants should know about U-visas

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Blog, Immigration |

Immigrating to a new country comes with its challenges and uncertainties. One positive aspect that immigrants might want to be aware of, however, is the U-visa.

This visa can be beneficial for those who have been victims of certain crimes while in the United States. As an immigrant, there are certain things you should know about the benefits and requirements of obtaining a U-visa.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a U-visa, you must meet specific criteria. Firstly, you must show that you have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a victim of a qualifying crime such as assault or trafficking. Secondly, you should possess information about the crime and be willing to help law enforcement authorities during the investigation.

Law enforcement certification

As part of the application process, you need a law enforcement agency to certify your cooperation. This certification serves as proof that you have been helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. It’s essential to maintain open communication with law enforcement to ensure the certification process goes smoothly.

Family member eligibility

Your family members might also be eligible for U-visas based on their relationship with you. If you are under 21 years old, your parents, unmarried siblings under 18 and even your spouse and children might qualify as derivatives. This means they can apply for U-visas along with you.


Obtaining a U-visa allows you to stay in the United States for up to four years and provides you with work authorization during that time. Furthermore, after three years, you might even be eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

The U.S. Department of State reports that 493,448 immigrants received a visa in 2022. However, there is a limit of 10,000 U-visas that the government issues per year. Knowing this information along with other facts regarding the U-visa can help you plan your stay in the United States.