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What is the U Visa?

What is the U Visa?

Musa-Obregon Law PC is a dedicated law practice that can help you obtain a U Visa if you are in need. Our legal team is dedicated to fighting for your legal right to remain in the United States if you have been a victim of a crime recognised under the U visa requirements.

What is the U Visa?

A U visa allows an immigration benefit for many victims to obtain temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for up to 4 years. An important part of the application is filling out the USCIS Form I-918 U Non-immigrant Status Certification. Some of the factors are explained fully below.

Are you or a member of your family eligible for a U Visa?


There are certain requirements that must be fulfilled before a person can be granted the U visa.

  1. The crime committed against you must have occurred within the United States, a U.S territory or have violated U.S law.
  2. You (or the victim) must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse due to the criminal activity.
  3. The criminal activity must fall in the following categories:
  4. rape, torture, trafficking, incest, domestic violence, sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, hostage situations, peonage, false imprisonment, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, blackmail, extortion, manslaughter, murder, felonious assault, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes.
  5. Finally, if the crime is mentioned above, then the final requirement involves you (or the victim) willingly assisting local law enforcement to understand more about the crime that has been committed.

Musa-Obregon Law PC recognises the significance of the fourth requirement. We understand that providing information to law enforcement on your attacker and the crime is a personal and difficult decision to make. However, Musa-Obregon Law PC has a great deal of experience in immigration matters and our lawyers will work tirelessly to afford you the opportunity to remain in the United States.


What does 'substantial physical mental abuse' mean?

This decision is up to the USCIS. It is important to put as much information down on the form as possible. The USCIS will take into consideration:

  • the nature of the injury you have suffered;
  • the severity of the perpetrator's conduct;
  • the severity of the harm suffered;
  • the duration of the infliction of the harm; and
  • the extent to which there is permanent or serious harm to the appearance, health, or physical or mental soundness of the victim.

What does 'helpful' in investigation mean?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, being helpful means providing assistance and information when required. It is important and necessary to continue being helpful through the application of a U visa and once it has been granted. If you fail to be helpful at any point your U visa can be revoked by USCIS.

The victim is under 16, can they still be eligible for a U visa?

U visas are still available for child victims of the crimes stated above. However as they are under age, it will be the role of the parent or guardian or someone close to the family who will need to provide the law enforcement with the correct information and continue to be helpful to the authorities.

Will a criminal past affect a U visa application?

Not necessarily. As the U visa is evaluated on a case by case basis, the DHS take into consideration all the details on the application before making a decision.

The DHS have been known to deny applications if the applicant has been an accomplice or found guilty in the criminal activity of which has been alleged. Furthermore, if you have multiple convictions it is possible that you may be denied a visa.

However, Musa-Obregon has a lot of experience in dealing with arrests of nationals and immigrants and we will use our dedicated team to try and provide a compelling case that affords you the right to remain in the United States.

Other Information

A drawback to the U visa is that there are only 1000 U visas granted each year. This is the maximum amount eh US Government have allowed for.

Do not worry if you are not eligible for the U visa, there are other visas which are in use.

T Visa

Immigration status for severe forms of trafficking victims. You still need to reasonably assist with the law enforcement. If granted, you can remain in the US through the prosecution of the traffickers, and after three years, you can apply for permanent residence.


Available for men and women who have suffered from domestic abuse, you can apply for this without your abusers consent or knowledge.

Continued Presence

A temporary solution for victims of trafficking who will be able to aid investigations. If granted, you are allowed to remain in the US for 1 year with work eligibility and can reapply each year.


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