U Visas & VAWA - Victim Visas


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps victims of crime and abuse obtain green cards.

VICTIM VISAS
(U VISAS & VAWA)


Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon helps victims of certain crimes and victims of abuse by lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens obtain lawful immigration status.

There is also help for victims of human trafficking and witnesses who aid law enforcement.   S visas are available for people who aid law enforcement as a witness to certain crimes.  T visas are available to victims of sex or labor trafficking. 

U visas are available to victims of certain crimes who help law enforcement prosecute the crime. 

VAWA
benefits are available to victims of domestic abuse at the hands of US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses. Others may also be eligible for humanitarian visas.

U VISAS - Victims of Crime

There are countless vulnerable people who are in the United States without lawful status and are victimized every year because the assailants know that those people are not likely to call the police.  The U.S government has provided for a safe and humanitarian visa to encourage people who are here without lawful status to report crimes.  If you or a loved one are in the United States without lawful status and have been the victim of a crime, you may be able to obtain a U visa, even if the crime happened long ago

The requirements for a U visa are that the person:
  • suffered substantial physical or mental abuse resulting from criminal activity
  • possesses information concerning the criminal activity
  • has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity
  • obtains certification from a federal, state or local law enforcement authority, and
  • was the victim of criminal activity that violated the laws of the U.S. or occurred in the U.S.
If you qualify for a U visa, you would receive an initial visa for 4 years with extensions possible.  But the biggest benefit is that a person in lawful U visa status can obtain a greencard after 3 years. 

Qualifying crimes

You must have been a victim of one of the following qualifying crimes:
  • rape
  • torture
  • trafficking
  • incest
  • domestic violence
  • sexual assault
  • abusive sexual contact
  • prostitution
  • sexual exploitation
  • female genital mutilation
  • being held hostage
  • peonage
  • involuntary servitude
  • slave trade
  • kidnapping
  • abduction
  • unlawful criminal restraint
  • false imprisonment
  • blackmail or extortion
  • manslaughter or murder
  • felonious assault
  • witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or perjury
  • attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above crimes
  • any similar activity in violation of federal, state or local criminal law.
VAWA - Victims of Abuse

Unfortunately, there are United States citizens who have used the power of their status as a U.S. citizen to exert power over their non-citizen spouses.  For example, a U.S. citizen may threaten their spouse with deportation or refusal to file immigration paperwork if the non-citizen spouse does not do what the U.S. citizen spouse wants.  The U.S. citizen spouse may abuse the non-citizen spouse,  physically, verbally, or emotionally.  In these cases, the non-citizen spouse may be able to obtain a greencard without the U.S. citizen.  The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was created to protect abused non-citizens. 
 
Who qualifies?
  • an abused spouse of a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • an abused child of a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • a spouse of a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident whose child is abused by the United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • an abused parent of a United States citizen son or daughter, who is 21 years or older
What are the requirements?
  • the abuse occurred during the marriage
  • the non-citizen was subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by the United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • the non-citizen lived with the United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident abuser at some time
  • the non-citizen is currently living in the U.S.
  • the non-citizen has good moral character
  • the marriage was entered in good faith
  • the abuser is a United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
If you believe that you or your loved one may qualify for a S, T, or U visa or VAWA, please call us:

Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon

904-642-3332(Jacksonville)

or

407-228-2019 (Orlando). 

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