Victims of Crime, Abuse, or Mistreatment
There are several ways that foreign nationals can apply for legal status in the United States if they are victims of domestic violence, child abuse, human trafficking, or certain other crimes. Determining which of these categories suits an individual best is sometimes an emotional and difficult process that requires a legal team with empathy and compassion. Some clients may qualify for more than one option given their situation. Eagan immigration specializes in this type of immigration benefit and can help you navigate through this process by determining the best options for your case.
U Visa Petitions
Visas for victims of certain crimes that happened in the United States are also known as U visas. An individual may be eligible for a U-visa if he or she was the victim of a qualifying criminal activity, suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime, has information about the crime, and has been or is likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. U-Visas are valid for four years. The visa allows the applicant to achieve work authorization and legal status, and the visa holder may be eligible to petition certain family members for derivative U-visa status. Eagan Immigration offers a thorough analysis and preparation of cases beginning with the initial U-Visa certification, followed by the U-Visa petition process and, finally, the application for permanent residence.
T Visa Petitions
Visas for Victims of Human Trafficking Visas are also known as T-visas. These visas are available for victims of human trafficking, whether for labor or sex purposes. An individual may be eligible for a T-visa if he or she was the victim of human trafficking, is currently in the United States due to trafficking, and complied with any reasonable requests from law enforcement for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of those responsible. In addition, the applicant will need to demonstrate that he or she would suffer extreme hardship if removed from the United States. T-visas are valid for four years. The visa allows the applicant to achieve work authorization, legal status, and the visa holder may be eligible to petition for their children and spouses for derivative T-Visa status. After the applicant and any family member that has been included holds the T-Visa for three years in the United States, they become eligible to apply for permanent residence.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Petitions
VAWA is a means for survivors of domestic abuse to self-petition for lawful permanent resident status in the United States, receive employment authorization, receive advance parole for travel purposes, and access public benefits without the cooperation of the United States citizen or the lawful permanent resident abuser. Domestic abuse is defined as “behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate pattern.” To qualify, the applicant must be the spouse (or ex-spouse), parent, or child of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident. You must have been the victim of mistreatment by your United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse (or ex-spouse), parent, or child. Mistreatment can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial, and verbal mistreatment. There is no risk of harm to your United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse (or ex-spouse), parent, or child if you file a VAWA application based on mistreatment. The application filed remains completely confidential.
Petition through your child, spouse, or parent (VAWA)
You may qualify if:
– You have a United States citizen son or daughter over the age of 21,
– You are married, separated, or recently divorced (within 2 years) from your United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, or
– You are under the age of 25 years old and have a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident father, mother, stepfather, or stepmother.