Q: If domestic violence is consider a crime, a person with irregular status if the violence is verifiable
A: Yes, it is possible to apply for a U visa if the victim of domestic violence is an undocumented immigrant and the violence is verifiable. The U visa is a nonimmigrant visa that provides temporary legal status to victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence, who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse and are helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. To be eligible for a U visa, the victim must be admissible to the United States and must obtain certification from law enforcement that they have been helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. The U visa can also provide a pathway to permanent residency in the United States.
Even though you are undocumented, you may be eligible to apply for a U visa.
If you are a foreign-born person who is the victim of a crime and have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse, you may be eligible to apply for U status if you are willing to assist a law enforcement agency in investigating the crime. After being in the US for 3 years in U status, you may apply for a green card.
On June 14, 2021, the USCIS issued a policy alert stating that the agency will exercise its discretion to issue 4-year EAD work permit and 4-year “deferred action” status to certain U visa applicants, including those who have filed new U visa petitions, and those whose U visa petitions remain pending with USCIS, based on a new discretionary process called a “bona fide determination.”
The policy alert also cl arifies “that USCIS is adopting the decision issued by the Ninth Circuit in Medina Tovar v. Zuchowski for nationwide application. Therefore, when confirming a relationship between the principal petitioner and the qualifying family member which is based on marriage, USCIS will evaluate whether the relationship existed at the time the principal petition was favorably adjudicated, rather than when the principal petition was filed.”
U status permits you to live and work in the US. Once you obtain U status, you can apply for lawful status for your spouse and children. You can also apply for an Employment Authorization Document.
Please see https://www.shusterman.com/u-visas-crime-victims/
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