North Carolina U Visa VAWA Attorney


United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports that there are millions of requests for immigration benefits. It’s a fact that immigrants to the United States number in the millions. They vary in their immigration status. Some are undocumented immigrants, while others have gone through the correct channels to be able to come and stay.

It can be hard being a foreign national in another country. You don’t have to be undocumented to feel threatened and beleaguered. That’s why it’s important to be familiar with immigrant rights and be aware that US immigration policies provide certain benefits to foreign-born individuals who have been victims of violence and certain criminal activities. Two of them come in the forms of the U visa and the VAWA petition.

To successfully apply for those petitions, you need to have a North Carolina U Visa VAWA Attorney to guide you every step of the way. If you are searching for a trusted  North Carolina U Visa VAWA attorney, Diener Law is definitely your best option. Our immigration attorneys are always commited to its driving principles of inclusiveness, generosity, diversity, and excellence. 

What is a U Nonimmigrant Visa?

The U Nonimmigrant Visa is for foreign nationals who have reported to law enforcement that they have suffered from certain Qualifying Criminal Activity or QCA. Eligibility for this visa requires you to prove that:

  1. You were a victim of a certain QCA or any substantially similar crime.
  2. You reported the crime to the authorities and aided them in investigating or prosecuting it.
  3. The crime caused you physical and emotional suffering.
  4. You would suffer undue hardship if you were to leave the US and go back to your home country.

If your U Visa application is approved, you would be granted a valid visa as well as employment authorization that are good for four years. Immigration law provides that the U status may also be extended to immediate family members of the victim, including children under 21 years of age and spouses.

After three consecutive years of being in the country under U status, visa holders may apply for adjustment of status to obtain green cards or lawful permanent residency. Immigration laws also allow U visa holders to apply for Advance Parole so they may travel abroad for urgent humanitarian reasons.

What does a U Visa provide?

The U Visa provides several benefits to victims of crimes who qualify for the visa. Here are the key benefits of a U visa:

  1. Lawful status: Once a U visa is granted, the recipient obtains lawful status in the United States for a period of four years. This means they can legally reside in the country.
  2. Work authorization: U visa holders are eligible to work lawfully in the United States. They can obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that allows them to seek employment and earn a living.
  3. Eligibility for public benefits: U visa recipients may be eligible for certain public benefits and services, such as access to healthcare, education, and social services, depending on the state and federal regulations.
  4. Path to permanent residence: One of the most significant benefits of a U visa is the opportunity it provides for a path to permanent residence. After holding U visa status for three years, U visa holders may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence, also known as a green card.
  5. Protection from deportation: While a U visa is valid, the recipient is generally protected from deportation or removal proceedings. This provides a sense of security and stability for victims of crimes who may fear returning to their home countries.

What are the Eligibility requirements for U Visa?

To be eligible for a U visa, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a victim of a qualifying crime: The crime must have occurred in the United States and must be one of the qualifying crimes listed by the U.S. government. Examples of qualifying crimes include rape, torture, trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, and murder.
  • Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse: The victim must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime.
  • Possess information about the crime: The victim must possess information about the crime and be willing to provide assistance to law enforcement officials in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
  • Be helpful, or likely to be helpful, in the investigation or prosecution of the crime: The victim must be helpful, or likely to be helpful, in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. This can be demonstrated through a certification from a law enforcement official.
  • Be admissible to the United States or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility: The victim must be admissible to the United States or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility. This means that the victim must not have a criminal record or other factors that would make them ineligible for admission to the United States.

The U visa application process can be complex and time-consuming. It is recommended to seek the assistance of an knowledgeable immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that all requirements are met.

What is Violence Against Women Act Petition?

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Petition is a legal process that allows certain non-citizen victims of domestic violence to self-petition for permanent residency in the United States without the need for a sponsor.

It is  a special benefit for foreigners of any nationality if they have been abused by a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident parent or spouse. It was created in 1994 as part of the Violence Against Women Act to provide a pathway to legal status for non-citizen victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes.

 In order for you to qualify for this benefit, you must prove that:
  1. You have suffered extreme cruelty from your citizen or permanent resident parent or spouse.
  2. You were married in good faith.
  3. You were eligible for the family-based legal immigration petition filed by your abusive petitioner.
  4. You possess good moral character.
  5. You would suffer undue hardship if you were to leave the US and go back to your home country.
Take note of the following with regard to the VAWA petition:
  • The US immigration system allows you to concurrently file the I-485 Application for Lawful Permanent Residency with the VAWA petition or file it after the petition has been approved.
  • Although the act’s title designates women as the recipient of the benefit, it is possible for men in the same circumstances to apply for and receive this benefit as well.

What are the eligibility requirements for Violence Against Women Act Petition?

While getting a visa for women who have been victims of abuse is urgent, there are still requirements to be met in order for the process to push through. To be eligible for a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)petition, the following eligibility requirements must typically  be met:

  • Relationship to the abuser: The individual must be the spouse, child (unmarried and under age 21), or parent of an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Abuse or extreme cruelty: The individual must have experienced battery, abuse, or extreme cruelty at the hands of the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child.
  • Good moral character: The individual must demonstrate good moral character, which generally means having a clean criminal record and meeting other moral character requirements.
  • Residency requirement: The individual must have resided with the abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child at some point.

It’s important to note that the specific eligibility requirements may vary depending on the circumstances and the specific provisions of the VAWA legislation at the time of application. It is recommended to consult with an immigration attorney who can provide guidance tailored to your individual situation and help you determine your eligibility for a VAWA petition.

Call our North Carolina Immigration Attorneys Now!

Applying for a U Visa and VAWA Petition  can be a complicated and time-consuming procedure, so having a North Carolina Immigration lawyer on your side to guide you would be extremely beneficial. We at Diener Law can assist you in understanding the eligibility requirements and gathering evidence for your case. If you believe you or someone you know may be eligible for a U Visa and VAWA Petition, Contact us today!

Aside from Immigration cases, we also accept legal services for Personal Injury, Workers Compensation and Wrongful death.

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