If you are an alien living illegally in the United States and are a victim of a crime, certain extreme abuse, or other criminal activity, you may have recourse. The Law Offices of Jorge Rodriguez-Choi is passionate about helping you protect your rights and can help you understand immigration laws in San Francisco. Our extensive knowledge and experience in effectively resolving immigration issues makes us strong advocates for non-citizen victims of crime.
The U Visa became effective in October, 2007 as a legal remedy for non-citizen crime victims. In exchange for cooperating with authorities to prosecute criminal activity, non-citizens already in the United States or located in U.S. territories are granted temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States. In addition U visa status holders are later able to file for Lawful Permanent Residency. Immediate family member may also be included in the U visa or the later application for Lawful Permanent Residency. Special requirements may apply.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), eligibility requirements for the U Visa include:
• Being a victim of criminal activity that occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws
• Substantial physical or mental abuse from criminal activity
• Ability to provide information about the criminal activity
• Helpful participation in the investigation or prosecution of the crime
A San Francisco immigration attorney can help you file a U Visa petition. Your lawyer can also get certified documentation from a federal, state or local law enforcement agency that is investigating or prosecuting the criminal and also qualified to issue U non-immigrant certifications.
Under a U Visa you may remain in the United States for four years. The USCIS limits approval to 10,000 non-citizens for U Visas per year. However, this limitation does not extend to relatives such as spouses, children and parents of the visa holder who may accompany or join the visa holder.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
VAWA, passed in 2006, applies to immigrants by allowing the battered spouse or abused children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPR) to self-petition for permanent residency. Self-petitioning frees the victim from having to rely on the abusive spouse or partner to petition on his or her behalf. It is a way to seek protection against abuse and get away without the abuser’s knowledge. A San Francisco citizenship attorney can also help you with naturalization.
Get legal help from an immigration attorney in San Francisco or Oakland
Contact our immigration lawyer at the Law Offices of Jorge Rodriguez-Choi to schedule a free 10 minute telephonic assessment of your immigration case. Call us today at 510-267-1927.
The Law Offices of Jorge Rodriguez-Choi serves clients in California including:
• San Francisco Bay Area
• Fresno, CA
• Bakersfield, CA
• Redding, CA
• Los Angeles, CA