One of the most rewarding things about practicing in both areas of law (criminal and immigration) is being able to help those who were at one point unable to help themselves. Jonathan Mendoza and the rest of our Empire Law, Inc. legal team do everything in our power to help victims of crimes not only feel supported during difficult transitions in their lives, but also feel heard and properly represented in the court of law.

Unfortunately, there are many innocent people who become the victims of some very mentally, physically, and emotionally damaging crimes that also cross over into immigration law. Specifically, a U visa is the nonimmigrant status that’s set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse.

Are You Eligible for a U Visa?

The unpleasant reality is that there are many folks who are actually eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa, but it’s best to discuss the details with an experienced immigration lawyer in Riverside, CA to determine what may work best for you.

Certainly our legal office would recommend exploring a U Visa if:

  • You are the victim of one of the listed criminal activities below.
  • You can prove that you’ve suffered physical or mental abuse as a result of the crimes you fell victim to.
  • You have information about the crime that took place or have a connection to someone who has information about the criminal activity. 
  • If you’re underaged or unable to disclose information about the criminal activity due to a disability, guardianship, a parent but need to legally share details regarding the case.
  • If you were or are helpful in the investigation or prosecution of a crime.

In the eyes of the law, if you fall within one of those categories, you’ve already been through enough. The purpose of a U Visa is to help you move forward in confidence towards your healing with the justice system supporting you.

Qualifying Criminal Activities for the U Visa

As mentioned above, in order to be eligible for the U Visa, you must be a victim of one of the criminal activities listed here:

  • 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

There are many legalities and loopholes that could either disqualify you or further qualify you for this change in status, so it’s best to discuss your individual situation with an experienced immigation lawyer in Riverside for best results.

How Do I Get Started?

The process for applying for a U Visa is not the easiest for someone who is unfamiliar with legalese, typical courtroom filings, and the correct approach to avoid hiccups. Whether you are in the US or outside of it at the time of filing, Jonathan Mendoza can help you complete the entire process correctly the first time.

There are a series of documents that must be submitted in a timely manner, followed up with, and legally processed. If you need help with identifying those documents or getting started, don’t hesitate to give your local Riverside immigration law office a call!