The last thing you expected when you were walking through the parking lot at a Colorado shopping center was that you would become victim to a crime. Although you may have been grateful that you survived and your injuries were non-life threatening, you may have suffered economic loss as well if the person who assaulted you got away with your wallet. Do you hesitate to tell police about the incident because you're worried about your legal status? You may want to learn more about the U Visa process.
A U Visa provides temporary protected status to people in your situation. As with most government programs, there are eligibility requirements you must satisfy before you can apply. This visa is not permanent; so, you'd have to apply for renewal when it expires.
Basic facts and info regarding U Visas
If you carry a U Visa, you may live and work in the United States even though you do not have appropriate documentation. Below is a list of some of the requirements that would render you eligible to apply:
- You were the victim of a crime. The type of crime is significant as well, and you would want to review checklists for which types of crimes allow you request U Visa status.
- You must be willing to aid law enforcement officers and investigators in their quests to secure convictions against the party or parties who committed a crime against you.
- You must be able to prove that the crime in question violated federal, local or state law.
- You must also show evidence that the crime was committed in the United States.
Some immigrants are victimized in their workplaces. If this is what happened to you, you can take action to seek justice, as well as request temporary protected status. If you employer committed fraud, drew you into involuntary service or misrepresented an employment contract in some way, you may want to bring these matters to the attention of law enforcement officials. Just because you don't have legal status papers, doesn't mean you have no rights.
It's also not a bad idea to request a meeting with an immigration and naturalization attorney who can advocate on your behalf and help your protect your rights. Navigating the U Visa process would also likely be a lot easier if you were to act alongside experienced guidance from someone well versed in U.S. immigration law.