Understanding Who Is Eligible To File For A U Visa In Central Texas
This is the next post in our series discussing the issuance of U visas to those who have been the victim of a crime. Our last post discussed the purpose of a U visa as well as the current backlog the government is facing in processing applications. In this article we will discuss who is eligible to file for the visa in Austin, Texas. As we will discuss below, you must meet very specific requirements to file for this type of relief. If you wish to seek such a solution then contact our immigration attorneys immediately.
Those seeking a U visa must have been the victim of one of a particular set of crimes
As discussed in our previous articles, those requesting a U visa must have been the victim of a crime. Unfortunately, only certain crimes qualify for this type of relief. Some of the eligible offenses are abduction, being the victim of human trafficking, domestic violence, felony assault, sexual abuse, rape, as well as other crimes. Also, it is not enough to have been the victim of such offense. One requesting protection must have also suffered significant harm as a result of the crime, must have information about the crime which law enforcement will find useful, and must be at least likely to assist law enforcement. If all of these criteria are not met then one may not request relief.
In addition to meeting the requirements above, one must also receive a certification from law enforcement when requesting a U visa. Certifications may be issued by Federal, state, or local law enforcement. Certifications may also be issued by Judges, Prosecutors, Child Protective Services, and the Department of Labor. All of these entities are given “discretion” as to whether to issue the certification. This means, by and large, that whether or not the certification will be issued can vary depending on which government official is considering the matter. Having an attorney, who can help you make your case to the official, may make a difference in this process.
Those wishing to receive a U visa in Texas do not have to currently be in the United States
One does not have to currently be in the United States to apply for U Visa relief. If one is outside of the United States, and wishes to come to Austin on a U visa, then they may apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their current country.
We cannot stress enough that one requesting this relief has many hurdles to jump through. Again, the United States currently only accepts 10,000 U visas per year and there is a backlog. If you wish to begin this process then contact our office immediately. Our Austin lawyers also have offices in Georgetown and we service all of Travis County.