U Visa/ T Visa/ VAWA

  • Unfortunately, many immigrants are fearful of admitting that they have been a victim of a crime in part because they believe they will be removed (deported) from the United States if they report the crime.  U.S. law provides several protections for legal and undocumented immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence, victims of certain crimes, and victims of human trafficking.                                                                   

U Visa: Immigration Relief for Survivors of Crimes

The U Visa is for victims of crimes who have helped authorities in criminal investigations and prosecutions. The U Visa can eventually lead to a green card.  


 You may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if: 


  • You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity. 
  • You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity. 
  • You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on your behalf). 
  • You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf. 
  • The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws. 
  • You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may have to apply for a waiver for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.  

Qualifying Criminal Activities :


 Abduction; Abusive Sexual Contact; Blackmail; Domestic Violence; Extortion; False Imprisonment; Female Genital Mutilation; Felonious Assault; Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting ; Hostage; Incest; Involuntary Servitude; Kidnapping; Manslaughter; Murder; Obstruction of Justice: Peonage; Perjury; Prostitution; Rape; Sexual Assault; Sexual Exploitation; Slave Trade; Stalking; Torture; Trafficking; Witness Tampering; Unlawful Criminal Restraint; Other Related Crimes  (Includes any similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially   similar. Also   includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above and other related crimes).     


To apply for U nonimmigrant status, the victim must file Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status. Law enforcement official must certify Form I-918, Supplement B. Qualifying family members may also be eligible to apply for benefits.


VAWA Self-Petitioners: immigration Relief for Survivors of Domestic Violence

Some immigrants may be afraid to report acts of domestic violence to the police or to seek other forms of assistance. Such fear causes many immigrants to remain in abusive relationships. Victims of domestic violence who are the child, parent, or current/former spouse of a United States citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder) and are abused by the citizen or permanent resident may be eligible to apply for a green card themselves without needing the abuser to file for immigration benefits on their behalf. This provision of the law was created under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Therefore, VAWA allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.   The VAWA provisions apply equally to women and men.  Therefore, an abused  husband  can seek the same protections that are available to an abused wife.  


 Eligibility Requirements for a Spouse: 


You may file for yourself if you are, or were, the abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You may also file as an abused spouse if your child has been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.  You may also include on your petition your unmarried children who are under 21 if they have not filed for themselves.  


 Eligibility Requirements for a Spouse:


  • Qualifying spousal relationship: You are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser or your marriage to the abuser was terminated by death or a divorce (related to the abuse) within the 2 years prior to filing your petition, or your spouse lost or renounced citizenship or permanent resident status within the 2 years prior to filing your petition due to an incident of domestic violence, or you believed that you were legally married to your abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse but the marriage was not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse. 
  • You have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse: You have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, or your child has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. or permanent resident spouse. 
  • You entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits. 
  • You have resided with your spouse. 
  • You are a person of good moral character. 


Eligibility Requirements for a Child:


  • Qualifying parent/child relationship: You are the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser, or you are the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser who lost citizenship or lawful permanent resident status due to an incident of domestic violence. 
  • You have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent. 
  • You have resided with your abusive parent. 
  • You are a person of good moral character. (A child less than 14 years of age is presumed to be a person of good moral character). 


Eligibility Requirements for a Parent:


  • Qualifying parent/son or daughter relationship: You are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who is at least 21 years of age when the self-petition is filed, or you are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence, or you are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who was at least 21 years of age and who died within 2 years prior to filing the self-petition. 
  • You have suffered battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen son or daughter. 
  • You have resided with the abusive son or daughter. 
  • You are a person of good moral character.    


T Visa: Immigration Relief for Survivors of Sex or Labor Trafficking

The T nonimmigrant status (or T visa) provides immigration protection to victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons who assist law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases.The T Visa allows human trafficking victims to obtain lawful status and eventually a potential path to permanent residency.


You may be eligible for a T visa if you: 


  • Are or were a victim of trafficking, as defined by law Are in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking.
  • Comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (or you are under the age of 18, or you are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma) 
  • Demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States 
  • Are admissible to the United States. (If not admissible, you may apply for a waiver for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant).  

Contact Us

Please include as much detail as possible

Law Office of Jagat Kooner Immigration Attorney

343 East Main Street Suite 310 Stockto CA 95202 USA

Phone: 209.565.3979; Fax: 209.336.0176

Hours (By Appointment)

Mon - Fri  9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Sat 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Sun Closed