Are You the Victim of a Serious Crime? A Closer Look into U-Visas in the Wake of the Orlando Massacre

On June 12, 2016, a horrific mass shooting took place inside Pulse, a popular gay club in Orlando. Undocumented immigrants were among the 50 that were killed in this horrendous massacre that has shocked the world. Survivors, spouses, and close relatives of those whose lives were taken in this tragedy could qualify for U visas which are set aside for victims of crimes. If you or someone you know is undocumented and has been the victim of crime, please read details about U-visa eligibility below:

In order to be eligible for a U-visa, you must prove the following:

  1. You are a person who has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of “qualifying criminal activity;”
  2. You have credible and reliable information establishing that you have knowledge of the details concerning the criminal activity;
  3. You are helpful, have been helpful, or are likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution or the criminal activity; and
  4. The criminal activity occurred in the U.S. INA §101(a)(15)(U), 8 C.F.R. §214.14(b).

Crimes whose victims may qualify for U nonimmigrant status include, but are not limited to:

  • Abduction
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extortion
  • False Imprisonment
  • Felonious Assault
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
  • Being held as a Hostage
  • Incest
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Contact
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Slave Trade
  • Stalking
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Unlawful Criminal Restraint
  • Witness Tampering
  • Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of these crimes. INA § 101(a)(15)(U)(iii); 8 C.F.R. §214.14(a)(9)

     After a U-Visa holder has had three years of continuous presence while in U-visa status, they may be eligible to adjust their status to that of a Legal Permanent Resident.

If you or your loved one are undocumented and have been a victim of a crime, please do not hesitate to contact us at 972-369-2662. We would be happy to discuss your eligibility for a U-visa and help you apply for one.