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U Visas

U Visas are issued pursuant to INA §§101(a)(15)(U), 212(d)(14), 214(p), 245(m), 8 U.S.C. §§1101(a)(15)(U), 1182(d)(14), 1184(p), 1255(m).

The Law Provides for 10,000 U visas per year to persons who: (a) have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of "qualifying criminal activity;" (b) possess credible and reliable information establishing that he or she has knowledge of the details concerning the qualifying criminal activity upon which his or her petition is based; (c) have been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a certifying agency in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity; and (d) the qualifying criminal activity occurred in the U.S. (including Indian country and U.S. military installations), in U.S. territories or possessions, or violated a U.S. federal law that provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction. INA §101(a)(15)(U), 8 C.F.R. §214.14(b).

Qualifying Criminal Activity-Includes one or more of the following or any similar activities in violation of federal, state, or local criminal laws: abduction; blackmail; domestic violence; extortion; false imprisonment; felonious assault; female genital mutilation; hostage (being held as a); incest; involuntary servitude; kidnapping; manslaughter; murder; obstruction of justice; peonage; perjury; prostitution; rape; sexual assault; sexual contact (abusive); sexual exploitation; slave trade; torture; trafficking; unlawful criminal restraint; witness tampering; or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of these crimes. INA §101(a)(15)(U)(iii); 8 C.F.R. §214.14(a)(9).

Victim of Qualifying Criminal Activity-Means: (i) a person who has suffered direct and proximate harm as a result of the commission of one of the criminal acts named in the statute; (ii) "indirect victim" family members where the direct victim is deceased due to murder or manslaughter or is incompetent or incapacitated and where the family is the spouse and children under 21, and if the direct victim was under 21, his or her siblings under 18 and parents as well as spouse and children; or (iii) where the person is the victim of witness tampering, obstruction of justice or perjury, including attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit one or more of those offenses if s/he has been directly and proximately harmed by the perpetrator of those crimes and the perpetrator committed them as a means to avoid or frustrate efforts to investigate, arrest, prosecute or otherwise bring to justice the perpetrator for other criminal activity or to further the perpetrator's abuse or exploitation of or undue control over the petitioner. 8 C.F.R. §214.14(a)(14).

Substantial Physical or Mental Abuse Defined-Physical or mental abuse means injury or harm to the victim's physical person, or harm to or impairment of the emotional or psychological soundness of the victim. 8 C.F.R. §214.14(a)(8); 72 FR at 53018. Factors considered include but are not limited to: the nature of the injury; the severity of the perpetrator's conduct; the severity of the harm suffered; the duration of the infliction of harm; any permanent or serious harm to appearance, health and physical or mental soundness, and any aggravation of a victim's preexisting conditions. No single factor is required and a series of acts may suffice, even where no single act meets the standard. 8 C.F.R. §214.14(b)(1).

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To schedule an appointment with Los Angeles visa attorney Artem M. Sarian, contact Sarian Law Group, APLC. We have offices in Glendale and Los Angeles, California, to serve you.

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