Immigrant Victims of Crimes and Abuse
Immigrants are often targeted by criminals and suffer abuse because of their status. Many immigrants express fear of reporting crimes to the police. Similarly, immigrants often find themselves being victims of domestic violence that goes unreported to the police. These are some of the reasons that Congress created special immigrant groups for victims of certain crimes and domestic violence commonly called U Visas, T Visas, and applications under the Violence Against Women Act.
If you are a victim of a crime or domestic abuse, there may be immigration benefits that you can apply for. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with an attorney so that we can assist you.
Victims of Domestic Violence
Among the many programs and benefits created under the Violence Against Women Act are certain immigration benefits. Men or women who are the victims of domestic violence can petition for themselves when the abuse is done by a US Citizen or Permanent Resident (green card holder). Victims of abuse by someone other than a citizen or green card holder might have other options, including the U-Visa.
Victims of Qualifying Crimes
Immigration relief also exists for victims of certain crimes. Immigrants of most statuses can apply for a U Visa when they are a victim of specific crimes, or of similar crimes. The U Visa allows a person to stay and work in the US if approved and includes a path to permanent residency and eventually to citizenship.
If you have been a victim of a crime it is important to find an attorney who can help you with the process immediately. This is because proceeding with the U Visa process requires obtaining certification from the police, which can be especially difficult for victims who may be unfamiliar or afraid of the police and who may not speak English fluently. Contact our office to discuss your case if you have recently been a victim of a crime.
Victims of Trafficking
Separately from the U Visa, what is commonly referred to as the T Visa exists to help victims of trafficking. Trafficking is a general concept that includes a variety of circumstances such as involuntary servitude, debt bondage, and sex slavery or trafficking. T Visa applications are available to those who:
- Is the victim of severe trafficking and
- Is physically present in the United States
- Has complied with any reasonable request of a law enforcement agency, or
- Is under the age of 15 and
- Would suffer extreme hardship if removed
If you have been a victim of trafficking please contact us today to discuss your situation.