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550 E. Devon Avenue, Suite 160, Itasca, IL 60143

Itasca U Visa Crime Victim Immigration Attorneys

Rosemont U Status Immigration Lawyers

Immigration Lawyers in DuPage County for Victims of Crimes

When a person has been the victim of a crime, it can be emotionally difficult to come forward and work with law enforcement in prosecuting the offender. This is especially true for those who have come to the United States illegally or who have overstayed an expired non-immigrant visa. An undocumented victim may fear being prosecuted for immigration violations as a result of reporting the crime committed against him or her.

Fortunately, the United States government has created an avenue for crime victims to legally remain in the U.S. so that they can assist law enforcement and prosecutors with investigating and prosecuting the crime. At Ana M. Mencini & Associates, P.C., our attorneys are equipped to help undocumented crime victims seek U visas for themselves and their family members.

Understanding U Non-Immigrant Status

In October 2000, the federal government enacted the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, which created the new U non-immigrant status and U visa. The U visa is a non-immigrant visa because it is intended to allow the victim of a crime to lawfully stay in the United States temporarily to help with the prosecution of the case.

There are a number of requirements that must be met in order for a person to be eligible for a U visa. First, U visas are only granted to victims who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse caused by certain qualifying crimes. These offenses include but are not limited to:

  • Abduction or kidnapping;
  • False imprisonment;
  • Labor fraud;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Felony assault;
  • Sexual assault (including rape);
  • Prostitution; and
  • Human trafficking.

The crime must have taken place in the United States or have violated American laws. Next, the victim must also have information about the crime that is likely to contribute to the criminal case against the perpetrator. Finally, the victim must have contacted law enforcement and cooperated in the investigation and prosecution of the crime. "Cooperating" means that the victim has complied and will continue to comply with all requests from law enforcement officials. Certification of the victim's cooperation is required for the processing of the U visa application.

Navigating U Visa Challenges

Perhaps the biggest drawback to the U status is that only 10,000 applications are approved per year. Unfortunately, this means that U visa applications may take many months or even years to process. Once approved, a U visa allows a person to live and work in the U.S. for four years, and extensions are available based on the status of the criminal case. After three years of continuous presence in the U.S., a U visa holder is eligible to apply for a green card through Adjustment of Status.

If you have been the victim of a crime and are interested in pursuing a U visa, the experienced attorneys at Ana M. Mencini & Associates, P.C. can help. We will review the circumstances of your case and help you complete your application so that you have the greatest chance for approval. Our team will work hard to ensure that your rights and best interests are protected every step of the way.

Call 630-875-1700 Today

For more information about our firm and how we can assist with U visa applications, contact our office. Call 630-875-1700 to schedule a reduced cost consultation with a member of our team today. Our firm serves individuals and families in Itasca, Addison, Wood Dale, Roselle, Rosemont, Bensenville, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, DuPage County, Cook County, and the rest of Northern Illinois.

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