The following guide is intended as a general overview of the types of special immigrant status visas.
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.
If eligible, applicants should submit the following documents and applications: Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification. The Form I-918, Supplement B, must be signed by and authorized official of the certifying law enforcement agency (PDF)and the official must confirm that you were helpful, and currently being helpful, or will likely be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the case. A personal statement describing the criminal activity of which you were a victim.
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, such as spouses, children, or other eligible family members. 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 and a U visa. Petitioners placed on the waiting list will be granted deferred action or parole and are eligible to apply for work authorization while waiting for additional U visas to become available.