Skip to main content

U-Visa FAQs

As the victim of a serious crime you may be eligible to apply for a U-Visa. The U-Visa gives victims of certain crimes temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for up to 4 years.

The U-Visa gives law enforcement agencies the ability to investigate and prosecute certain types of crimes while, at the same time, offering protection to cooperative victims so that they may aid in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution without fear of deportation.

U-Visas may be available to undocumented immigrants who been the victim of one of the following crimes:

  • Abduction
  • Abusive Sexual Contact
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extortion
  • False Imprisonment
  • Felonious Assault
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Being Held 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*†

*Includes any similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially similar.

Also includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above, and other related, crimes.

To qualify a victim must also have useful information concerning the crime which occurred; have helped, or is likely to help, in the investigation or prosecution of the crime; and the crime committed violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States.

Filing a U-Visa is complex and may require the assistance by an experienced immigration attorney, please speak with your advocate for available resources in the community OR visit our Resources page for a list of agencies that may assist you with filing for a U-Visa.

Immigration may grant no more than 10,000 U-Visas in any fiscal year. The limit does not apply to spouses, children, parents, and unmarried siblings who are accompanying or following to join the primary victim. If the cap is reached in any fiscal year before all petitions are approved, Immigration will create a waiting list. Applicants placed on the waiting list will be given deferred action (they will be eligible to apply for employment authorization and permitted to travel) until their petitions can be approved after the start of the following fiscal year.

U-Visa status cannot exceed 4 years. After 3 years an immigrant in U-Visa status can apply to become a lawfully permanent resident.