Those Applying For U Visa Relief May Request Legal Status For Family And Loved Ones
This is the next post in our series on the issuance of U visas to those who have been the victim of a crime. Our last post discussed who is eligible to file for a U visa. As we explained, one applying for relief must have been the victim of one of a specific list of crimes and receive a certification from law enforcement. In this article we will discuss the ability of an applicant to also request relief for their family members.
U visa applicants may petition for relief on behalf of certain relatives
The goal of a U visa is to stop crime and to protect the victims of such crimes. It would be more difficult to meet these goals if one could not request relief for their family members; it goes without saying that many would not want to remain in the U.S., and assist law enforcement, without their family being present. Also, if one’s family is required to stay in another country then there may be a risk that the family members, themselves, would become the victims of crime. For these reasons a U visa applicant may petition for relief on behalf of a limited number of people.
If the visa applicant is under twenty-one years of age then they may request relief on behalf of their spouse, children, any unmarried siblings who are under the age of eighteen, as well as their parents. If the applicant is over the age of twenty-one then they may only request help for their spouse and their children. It is important to note, however, that additional friends and family members may be eligible for some other type of immigration relief which would allow them to come to the United States. Hiring an immigration attorney, to assist with the process, can help an applicant to understand all of their options.
Requesting immigration relief for relatives of U visa applicants
Requesting relief for the relatives of a U visa applicant is done by completing supplement “A” to form I-918. One will be required to answer questions about their relatives. These questions include whether the relative has ever committed a crime, been arrested, or been engaged in other criminal activity. If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then a detailed explanation will be required. An attorney can assist with properly explaining such situations.
Our Austin immigration lawyers also have offices in Georgetown and we service all of Travis County. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.