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Immigration Options for Victims of Crime, Abuse, or Mistreatment

June 28, 2022
  • Business Immigration
  • Individual Immigration

Many immigrants are afraid to admit that they have been the victim of a crime, in part because they believe they will be removed (deported) from the United States if they report the crime. Fortunately, U.S. law protects both legal immigrants and undocumented immigrants who have been victims of crime.

There are specific protections for victims of domestic violence, certain crimes, and human trafficking.

If you have been the victim of a crime or have suffered abuse or mistreatment, you should know that there is help and support for you. If you need help understanding your options and want to speak with a professional, you can find everything you need to know here at Eagan Immigration.

U Visa Petitions

A U visa is available to anyone who has been the victim of a crime in the U.S., or who has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse. To qualify, you must demonstrate that you are willing to assist in the investigation and you must be willing to assist with prosecution.

This type of visa is valid for a total of four years, and you can apply for permanent residency after three years.

Here are some of the cases in which you would be eligible for this type of visa:

  • Is a victim of a qualifying crime
  • Has suffered substantial mental or physical abuse
  • Has information about criminal activity
  • Willing to help law enforcement
  • The crime occurred in the U.S.

If you need help understanding your eligibility, our team is available and we encourage you to reach out.

T Visa Petitions

T visa applications are suitable for people who have been victims of human trafficking, either for work or sexual purposes.

You could be eligible for this type of visa if you are a victim of trafficking and, as a result, are currently in the U.S. You must also show that you would experience hardship or harm if you were removed from the U.S.

If you’re not sure if you’re eligible for the T Visa, here are some requirements:

  • You must prove that you have been trafficked
  • You must have been trafficked to the U.S. and currently reside in the U.S.
  • You have to show that you are willing to cooperate with the investigation
  • You must show that leaving the U.S. would cause you extreme hardship

You may not have to participate in the investigation if you are under the age of 18.

Petitions of the Law on Violence against Women

VAWA is for survivors of domestic violence or abuse. This includes everyone from spouses to parents and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. It gives you access to benefits in the U.S. without the requirement of being a U.S. citizen or the consent of the abuser. Abuse can take many forms, from sexual to emotional, physical, and verbal.

If you want to apply for this visa, you need to make sure your relationship qualifies. This can be done if:

  • You are married to an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Your marriage legally ended by death or divorce within two years prior to filing the petition.
  • Your spouse renounced or lost citizenship up to two years before your petition due to domestic violence
  • You thought you were married, but the marriage is no longer legitimate because of a previous marriage that hasn’t ended.
  • You are the child of an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
  • You are the parent of an abusive son or daughter who is over the age of 21 and a U.S. citizen.

If you are trying to make a self-petition because you believe you are the spouse of an abusive U.S. citizen, then you must show that you married in good faith and not just to evade immigration laws.

If you live outside the U.S. when the petition was filed, you must demonstrate the following, in addition to the points listed above:

  • The abusive citizen is a U.S. government employee.
  • The abusive citizen is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Was subjected to cruelty or assault in the U.S.

We’re here to help!

At Eagan Immigration, we know how difficult it is to navigate the complex immigration laws of the United States. We are dedicated to helping you explore your immigration options, create a plan, and then file a case for the immigration benefits you qualify for.

We help our clients obtain documents when other attorneys have told them “no.” We want all immigrants in the U.S. to obtain legal status and we want to lead the way in reaching this goal.

Our attorneys strive to find creative and ethical solutions for our clients. Even in the most complex situations, we will find ready-made strategies to win cases that others thought impossible. Why? We care about our customers and their families.

We will create a safe place for you to seek an attorney’s advice about your immigration options. Contact us to begin the process!

If you think you qualify for any of these visas, or would like to see if you do, contact us today by calling 202-709-6439 or leave us your information and we will call you to schedule a consultation with our specialists. If you wish, you can also schedule directly in our app by clicking here.