U VisaVisas

Getting a U-visa

What is a U-Visa, and how can it help you?

A U-Visa lets victims of crimes who meet certain requirements stay in the United States. To get a U-Visa, you must prove that:

  • You have been a victim of qualifying criminal activity in the United States
  • You have been helpful to the law enforcement
  • You have been hurt physically or mentally because of the crime

A U-Visa provides the following benefits:

  • You can legally live in the United States for four years.
  • After three years of having a U-Visa you can apply for a green card to stay in the U.S. permanently. (And if you get a green card, you can eventually apply to become a U.S. citizen).
  • With a U-Visa you can get permission to work in the United States.
  • Some of your family members might also be able to get a U-Visa.
  • With a U-Visa you might be eligible for certain public benefits in some states like California.

About this guide

This U Visa Manual is intended as an informative and practical resource for applicants and is not a substitute for legal advice from an experienced lawyer. Immigration law is complex and ever-changing and for these reasons, it is always best, if possible, to get advice on a particular case from a lawyer familiar with the U-Visa.

This guide was prepared by the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic of Stanford Law School on behalf of Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, California. Immigrants’ Rights Clinic of Stanford Law School does not work for nor is funded by the Department of Homeland Security (ICE, USCIS, CBP).

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