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  4.  » The U nonimmigrant status for crime victims

The U visa is a nonimmigrant visa created by the United States government to benefit crime victims who have suffered mental and physical abuse while on U.S soil. These victims must also be willing to assist law enforcement to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes. The U visa, created as part of the Victims of Trafficking Violence and Protection Act of 2000, has become an important first step in rebuilding the lives of many victims of serious crimes in California.

The U visa was created to strengthen the position of law enforcement agencies in their fight against cases that involve sexual assault, trafficking aliens, involuntary servitude, and other crimes of a serious nature. The legislation is also designed to provide protection and support for victims of these crimes.

Individuals who seek the protection of a U visa can start the process by filing an I-918 petition. An I-918 Supplement B form, signed by a qualifying law enforcement official, must accompany the petition. The law enforcement official should make it clear that the petitioner is an asset to a past or current investigation.

Additional items required from petitioners include a statement describing the nature of the crime or abuse that was experienced, evidence to prove you are eligible for the U visa, and Form I-92 if the petitioner is subject to inadmissibility issues.

Navigating the process to obtain a U visa is similar to other aspects of immigration law in that it can become quite complex for the average person. Individuals who have been the victims of serious crimes in the United States will find the process even more confusing while also trying to deal with law enforcement and the mental scars that result from their ordeal. An immigration attorney with experience in the U visa process may be able to provide the assistance needed for aliens victimized by serious crimes in America to gain a favorable outcome.