The U visa is for immigrants who have been victims of a crime and assist or are willing to assist U.S. authorities in investigating and/or prosecuting that crime.
To be eligible to apply for a U visa, a person must:
Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of certain types of crimes;
Possess information about that criminal activity;
Provide a certification from a law enforcement official, prosecutor, or judge that the person has been, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity; and
Show that the criminal activity violated the laws of the United States
U Visa Cap
The limit on the number of U visas that may be granted to principal petitioners each year is 10,000. However, there is no cap for family members deriving status from the principal applicant.
If the cap is reached before all U nonimmigrant petitions have been adjudicated, USCIS will create a waiting list for any eligible principal or derivative petitioners that are awaiting a final decision. Petitioners placed on the waiting list will be granted deferred action and must wait until a visa becomes available.
Work Authorizarion through Deferred Status
If the statutory cap is reached in a fiscal year and USCIS uses the waiting list process described at 8 CFR 214.14(d)(2), petitioners for U nonimmigrant status and derivatives in the United States can apply for employment authorization based on deferred action.