Carmichael, CA asked in Domestic Violence and Immigration Law for California

Q: If domestic violence is consider a crime, a person with irregular status if the violence is verifiable

Is it possible to apply under the "U" visa!?!?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

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.

Carl Shusterman
Carl Shusterman
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: 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

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.