What crimes qualify for a U Visa for victims of criminal activity?

There are several ways that victims of crimes can obtain immigration relief under current immigration law. One way is commonly referred to as a U Visa. This process requires that the crime qualify under the applicable statutes and regulations.

Below is a list of qualifying crimes. It should be remembered, however, that under the statutes and regulations the criminal activity does not have to be one of the enumerated crimes, though it does need to be similar or related to those crimes.

“Qualifying crime or qualifying criminal activity includes one or more of the following or any similar activities in violation of Federal, State or local criminal law of the United States:

  • Rape;
  • Torture;
  • Murder, manslaughter, or felonious assault;
  • Trafficking;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Sexual crimes: sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, incest, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation;
  • Slavery and hostage crimes: being held hostage, peonage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, false imprisonment;
  • Blackmail or extortion;
  • Witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury;
  • Attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes.

The term “any similar activity” refers to criminal offenses in which the nature and elements of the offenses are substantially similar to the statutorily enumerated list of criminal activities.”1

1. 8 C.F.R. 214.14(a)(9).