An U visa client of ours just received an approval for his U visa. In 2006, he was working at a gas station when two men tried to steal gas and drive away. He ran out of the shop and yelled at the men to stop. The driver stopped the truck and the passenger got out and ran at my client. The assailant was holding a beer can and began striking my client in the face repeatedly until he was unconscious.
When my client awoke, a police officer and paramedic was helping him. He had terrible pain in his leg and realized that his leg had been broken. The assailants had beaten him unconscious, then ran over his leg and broke it as they were driving away. He tried to help the police as much as possible by providing a description. He spent several days in the hospital. The two men were later captured and pled guilty to aggravated robbery. My client was never asked to testify.
In 2010, my client approached me asking about a U visa. I explained that he was eligible for the U visa, but it might be difficult to get the law enforcement agency to sign the necessary forms, because the crime occurred so long ago, and the prosecution was finalized. After months of trying to work with the detective, we finally got all the necessary forms signed. After waiting 9 months, we received the approval notice.
Now my client can bring his wife and daughter to the United States from India. He is very excited to be reunited with his family after being apart for so many years. He can work legally in the United States and his wife and child can live here and attend school.
The U visa was created for alien victims of serious crimes to encourage the victims to report the offenses to law enforcement and to cooperate with prosecution. U visa applicants must be able to show that they have been the victim of a specified crime including Abduction, Incest, Rape, Abusive Sexual Contact, Involuntary Servitude, Sexual Assault, Blackmail, Kidnapping, Sexual Exploitation, Domestic Violence, Manslaughter, Slave Trade, Extortion, Murder, Torture, False Imprisonment, Obstruction of Justice, Trafficking, Felonious Assault, Peonage, Unlawful Criminal Restraint, Female Genital Mutilation, Perjury, Witness Tampering, Hostage, Prostitution, and Attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any of the above crimes.
The U visa applicant must prove that s/he has suffered substantial physical or emotional harm due to the crime. The applicant must prove that s/he has useful information to help prosecute the crime and that the applicant has been helpful or will be helpful and cooperative with law enforcement officials. Additionally, the crime must have occurred in the United States or it must violate the laws of the United States.
One of the most important aspects of the U visa process is getting an authorized law enforcement agent to certify the U visa application. This process can be difficult at times because many law enforcement agencies are still unfamiliar with the U visa, and many are reluctant to get involved in what could be viewed as helping an illegal immigrant (especially in today’s political climate).
The Nunez Firm has handled many U visa applications, and we can assist you with your case. If you are considering the U visa process but are not sure if it applies to you, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you during a confidential consultation to discuss your options.