Issue link: http://ailahub.aila.org/i/23448
Broaden Your Practice Area With the U Visa by A. Renee Pobjecky
With the dwindling hope of immigration reform, the U Visa has become an invaluable tool to aid non citizens who are the victims of certain crimes INA §101(a)(15)(U)(i); 8 CFR §214.14. Te U Visa is available to non citizens who:
1. have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse resulting from criminal activity, and 2. have been helpful, are being helpful, or are likely to be helpful with the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
Tis visa provides four years of nonimmigrant legal status to the victim and certain family members. USCIS will automatically issue an initial Employment Authorization Document to the principal applicants who have been granted U nonimmigrant status. 8 CFR §214.14(g).
FOR MORE ON U VISAS AND DEFENSE SEE:
A creative interpretation of the facts listed in the police report is key to asserting applicability of the elements. For example, if a cli- ent is a victim of robbery, which is not enumerated in the statute, examine the police report to de- termine whether it can reasonably be asserted that the victim was “falsely imprisoned.” If a weapon was used during the commission of the crime then assert that the criminal defendant engaged in a “felonious assault.” I person- ally provide the law enforcement agency with a “proposed” I-918 Supplement B certification which includes as many qualifying crim- inal activities as can be reasonably inferred from the police report— regardless of the actual charges.
u FOR FURTHER INFORMATION go to www.ilrc.org and AILA’s InfoNet.
Oſten the most challenging aspect of the U Visa application is the necessity of the certification. However, this requirement has become a blessing because it provides an opportunity to educate the law enforcement community about the U Visa and its benefits. Tis community has now become a source of client referrals.
I always inform the law enforce- ment agency that my clients have undergone a thorough evaluation to determine their eligibility for the visa status. I reiterate that I will not waste the officer’s time with cases involving victims who do not adhere to the statutory requirements such as failing to appear in court, etc. Tis direct- ness creates trust, and typically the officer will sign the prepared certification. If my request is refused, then I will approach al- ternative agencies, such as the Department of Children & Fami- lies, and request assistance from the case worker for any reported crimes to its agency. Te key is to never give up.
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Consequences of Criminal Activity ($99)
Opportunities & Obstacles in U Visas (originally recorded 2/25/10)
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Representing Clients in
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