U-Visa for victims of crime
This visa allows victims of certain crimes in the US without immigration status to come forward and report crimes without fear of retaliation, like being deported. In order to qualify, the victim must collaborate with law enforcement agencies in the criminal investigation.
You may qualify for a U-Visa if:
- You were a victim to one of these crimes:
- Domestic violence
- Rape or sexual assault
- Abusive sexual contact;
- Prostitution or incest
- Sexual exploitation
- Peonage or bondage
- Being held hostage
- Female genital mutilation
- Involuntary servitude
- Kidnapping or abduction
- False imprisonment
- Blackmail or extortion
- Felonious assault
- Tampering or perjury
- Obstruction of justice
- Murder or manslaughter
- You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of one of these crimes.
- You have information about that crime.
- You have already helped, are helping, or would help police in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
- The crime happened in the US.
For more information visit the USCIS website. Here are some organizations in Chicago that can help you fill out the U-Visa application:
- National Immigrant Justice Center (312)660-1370
- Legal Assistance Foundation (312)341-9617
- Lifespan Center for Legal Services and Advocacy (312)408-1210
- World Relief Chicago (773)583-3010
- Legal Aid Society (312)986-4200
More resources and information on U-Visas
U-Visa Laws for Crime Victims
This website provides detailed information on the benefits and the process for obtaining a U-Visa.
Informational flyer containing information on eligibility, benefits and limitation of the U-visa.
T-Visa for victims of human trafficking
Human trafficking happens when the trafficker recruits his victims in order to exploit them. Generally, human trafficking victims are subjected to sexual exploitation, known as sex trafficking, or forced labor known as labor trafficking.
This visa protects victims of human trafficking, which is considered to be modern day slavery. Many of these victims are lured by traffickers with promises of work and a better life. In order to qualify victims must cooperate with law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the trafficking case.
More resources on T-Visas:
T Visa Laws for Victims of Trafficking
This website provides detailed information on the benefits and the process for obtaining a T-Visa.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
This law commonly known as VAWA protects victims of domestic violence (women, men and children) allowing them to apply for legal immigration status in the US without relying on the abusive US citizen or legal resident.
Spouses, parents and children who have been victims of domestic violence can benefit from this law. Generally the abuser must be a US citizen or legal resident and the victim must have lived with the abuser and suffered violence (physical or mental).
VAWA Laws for Abuse Victims
This website provides detailed information on the benefits and the process for obtaining legal immigration status and protection under VAWA.
For more information on these visas and the processes, please see the following video on Changing your immigration status as a crime victim and visit the USCIS website.
Updated: December 1969