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U-Visa: Pathway to Permanent Residence for Victims of Certain Crimes

Have you been a victim of a crime? If so, you may be able to obtain a work permit and green card.


The U-Visa was created in October 2000 to encourage noncitizen victims of certain crimes to aid in the investigation and/or prosecution of the individual that committed the crime. In turn, the U-Visa provides those currently out of status with work authorization for up to four years if the victim has suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of the crime and is willing to or has assisted in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. U-Visas allow for family members such as spouses and minor children to also obtain this immigration benefit even if family members are abroad. In the case of victims who are minors, parents and siblings might also be eligible.


With employment authorization, U-Visa beneficiaries are able to apply for social security numbers and driver's licenses. Additionally, after three years of continuous presence in the United States, U-Visa beneficiaries may also apply for a green card and enjoy all the benefits that permanent residence provides.


Compiling a U-Visa application can be a complex process but our experienced attorneys will ensure that your case is compelling and meets all of the eligibility requirements.


In order to be eligible for a U-Visa, a noncitizen victim of crime MUST:


(1) Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of a qualifying crime that violates U.S. law. Qualifying crimes include:

* Abduction

* Abusive Sexual Contact

* Blackmail

* Domestic Violence

* Extortion

* False Imprisonment

* Female genital mutilation

* Felonious assault

* Hostage

* Incest

* Involuntary Servitude

* Kidnapping

* Manslaughter

* Murder

* Obstruction of Justice

* Peonage

* Perjury

* Prostitution

* Rape

* Sexual Assault

* Sexual Exploitation

* Slave Trade

* Torture

* Trafficking

* Witness Tampering

* Unlawful Criminal Restraint

* Other Related Crimes


Our attorneys will help you craft a personal statement describing the pains you endured as a victim of a qualifying crime. We will also aid you in acquiring any and all records of the crime and the harms that affected you.


(2) Have information concerning the crime and obtain "certification" from a law enforcement official indicating you have been helpful or will be helpful to the investigation or prosecution of the crime: Our attorneys will communicate with local, state or federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges, and other eligible agencies or individuals regarding your involvement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.


(3) Be "admissible": Inadmissibility grounds are reasons why a person may not be eligible for an immigration benefit, including but not limited to unlawful presence, immigration fraud and other security grounds. Should any of these grounds of inadmissibility apply to you, our attorneys can determine whether any waivers will "pardon" this particular ground and you may continue with the U-Visa process.


If you are the unfortunate victim of a qualifying crime, please contact our attorneys for information on how you may qualify for work authorization and begin your path towards permanent residence in the United States.

Marilyn Labrada Dume

Marilyn Labrada Dumé

Founder & Managing Partner
Marilyn Dume is the founder and managing partner of the firm. Ms. Dume earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 1989. Prior to attending Columbia, Ms. Dume attended University of Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986. Ms. Dume is admitted to the New Jersey State Bar.

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