U Visa Extensions, Adjustment of Status & Derivatives

This library contains information about U visa extensions, adjustment of status, the law, policy, derivatives, advance parole,  practice pointers and more.

    U Visa Legal Authority Memos & Agency Decisions

    U Visa Adjustment of Status

    INA 245(m): U visa Adjustment Statute

    The U adjustment statute contains the guidance for U visa holders to adjust their status to become legal permanent residents.

    U Visa Adjustment Regulations with Preamble

    The U adjustment regulations were promulgated in 2009.  The federal register notice of the regulations contains useful background information regarding requirements for adjustment including assistance to law enforcement and continuous physical presence.

    8 USC 1367

    Link to the Government Printing Office page with 8 USC 1367 relating to penalties for disclosure of information relating to battered or abused immigrants as well as use of information obtained from batterers and their families.

    Legislation & Statutes

    Wilberforce Amendments

    Wilberforce Amendments on Bona Fide Work Authorization.

    9 FAM

     Field Adjudicator's Manual for Department of State with information on U visas.

    VAWA 2013 and TVPRA: What Practitioners Need to Know

    The Violence Against Women Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), combined with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA), was signed into law on March 7, 2013. This document provides an overview of substantive changes and technical fixes to both the VAWA and the TVPRA as well as practice pointers for attorneys and advocates on how to work with these new changes, prepared by ASISTA staff.

    Copyright @2013 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Extension of Status for U and T Nonimmigrants (Corrected and Reissued, October 4, 2016)

    This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance about extension of status for T and U nonimmigrants, including any related I-485, application to adjust status. This PM rescind and replaces PM 602-0032.1. This PM revises chapters 39.1 and 39.2 of the Adjudicator's Field Manual. 

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: U Adjustment and Failure to Voluntary Departure (May 13, 2016)

    This policy memorandum (PM) designates the attached decision of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Matter of L-S-M- as an Adopted Decision.

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Changes to U Nonimmigrant Status and Adjustment of Status Provisions (June 15, 2014)

    This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance on new legislation that amends the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) affecting U nonimmigrant status programs and related adjustment of status applications.

    Group Comment to USCIS VAWA 2013 Guidance (August 8, 2014)

    This comment was submitted by 32 national, state, and local organizations in responses to USCIS Guidance Implementing U visa provisions of VAWA 2013.

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Age-Out Protections for Derivative U Status Holders: Petitions, Initial Approvals and Extension of Status (October 24, 2012)

    This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance relating to certain U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions that are being held for final adjudication or have had their prior approvals limited in time due to derivative aging-out. This PM also authorizes the approval of U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions for the full eligibility period of four years, allowing the U-3 derivative to remain in U nonimmigrant status past his or her 21st birthday, if necessary. This PM updates the Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) by adding Chapters 39.1 (f)(4)(v-viii)- AFM Updated AD11-41.

    DOJ & INS Memorandum: Unlawful Presence and Authorized Periods of Stay (June 12, 2012)

    This memorandum (PM) provides a list of situation in which a person would qualify for an authorized period of stay, temporary protective status (TPS), or deferred enforcement departure (DED).

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Extension of Status for T and U Nonimmigrants (March 8, 2011) 

    This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance about extensions of status for T and U nonimmigrants, including any related applications for adjustment of status. 

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Extension of Status for T and U Nonimmigrants (February 23, 2011)

    This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance about extensions of status for T and U nonimmigrants, including any related application for adjustment of status.  

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Extension of U Nonimmigrant Status for Derivative Family Members Using Form I-539  (June 22, 2010)

    This policy memorandum (PM) allows extension of status for U derivative family members due to consular processing delays, and for other reasons as well.

    Virtue Memo on Any Credible Evidence Standard (and Extreme Hardship) (Oct. 16, 1998)

    This old memo has excellent language near the end on the "any credible evidence" standard -- "Documentary Requirements" -- and why it exists. The discussion of "extreme hardship" is no longer relevant to VAWA self-petitions but may be helpful to those seeking VAWA cancellation, where that requirement still exists. Here for Virtue Memo on Any Credible Evidence Standard (and Extreme Hardship) in Word Version.

    Memos & Agency Decisions

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Extension of Status for U and T Nonimmigrants (Corrected and Reissued, October 4, 2016)

    This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance about extension of status for T and U nonimmigrants, including any related I-485, application to adjust status. This PM rescind and replaces PM 602-0032.1. This PM revises chapters 39.1 and 39.2 of the Adjudicator's Field Manual. 

    Interim USCIS Memorandum: Implementing VAWA 2013 Provisions (June 27, 2014)

    This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance on new legislation that amends the Immigration and Naturalization Act affecting U nonimmigrant status programs and related adjustment of status application. 

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Requests for Evidence, and Notices of Intent to Deny (June 3, 2013)

    The purpose of this policy memorandum (PM) is to clarify the role of Requests for Further Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) in the adjudication of petitions, applications, and other requests. It revises chapters 10.5 (a)  of the Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM)-  AFM Updated AD12-04.

    ICE Memorandum: Civil Immigration Enforcement: Guidance on the Use of Detainers in the Federal, State, Local, and tribal Criminal Justice Systems (December 21, 2012)

    This memorandum provides guidance on the use of U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) detainers in the federal, state, local, and tribal criminal justice systems .This guidance applies, to all uses of ICE detainers regardless of whether the contemplated use arises out of the Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities, a 287 (g) agreement, or any other ICE enforcement effort. This guidance does not govern the use of detainers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This guidance replaces Section 4.2 and 4.5 of the August 2010 Interim Guidance on Detainers (Policy Number 10074.1) and otherwise supplements the remaining sections of that some guidance.

    ICE Memorandum: Prosecutorial Discretion for Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs (June 17, 2011)

    Absent special circumstances of aggravating factors, it is against ICE policy to initiate removal proceedings against an individual known to be the immediate victim or witness to a crime.

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Changes to T and U Nonimmigrant Status and Adjustment of Status Provisions (July 21, 2010)

    This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance regarding changes in U visa eligibility requirements, adjustment of status, and assistance in investigations or prosecutions. 

    DOL Policy (March 15, 2010) 

    Department of Labor Policy regarding U visa certifications.

    ICE Memorandum: The OPLA Memo: Guidance Regarding U Visa Applicants in Removal Proceedings or With Final Orders of Removal (September 25, 2009)

    Memorandum to OPLA attorneys, dated September 25, 2009, regarding U visa applicants with final orders or who are in proceedings.

    ICE Guidance: Adjudicating Stay Requests Filed by U Nonimmigrant Applicants (September 24, 2009)

    Guidance to ICE Field Officers dated September 24, 2009, about factors to consider when adjudicating requests for a Stay of a final administrative order filed by a U visa applicant.

    USCIS Update for Processing Petitions for Nonimmigrant Victims of Criminal Activity (April 10, 2008)

    This memorandum serves to make clarification in the interim relief period for those seeking the U visa, and notes that there is no deadline for filing the Petition for U nonimmigrant Status (Form I-192).

    USCIS Interoffice Memorandum: New Classification for Victims of Criminal Activity. Amendment to FAM (March 27, 2008) 

    Memo propagated March 27, 2008, with amendments to FAM, including fix to regulations on age-out derivatives.

    Adjustment of Status

    AIC Practice Advisory on Child Status Protection Act  (November 4, 2009)

    The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), provides relief to children who “age-out” as a result of delays by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in processing visa petitions and asylum and refugee applications. 

    AOS Processing Cover Sheet for Families with U Visas

    This processing cover sheet will help you identify the status of U visa nonimmigrant derivatives applicants and potential red flags.

    Practice Advisories

    ASISTA Practice Update: Form I-539 Extensions of Stay & Passport Requirements for U Nonimmigrants (July 2019)

    ASISTA has prepared a brief advisory to address the recent trends regarding adjudication of I-539 extensions for U nonimmigrants. Practitioners report that USCIS is issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) asking for proof that the applicant had a valid passport at the time of filing. This advisory contains practice tips for advocates to prevent and address this issue. The  Word version can be accessed here.

    Copyright @2019 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    Practice Advisory: U Conditional Approvals (February 2015)

    This practice advisory contains tips to help conditionally approved U visa holders who are waitlisted due to the U visa cap restrictions. We will be covering issues concerning employment authorization as well as tips for requesting humanitarian parole for derivatives where the principal U visa applicant has been awarded a conditional U visa grant.

    Practice Advisory: USCIS Adjustment of Status of "Arriving Aliens" with an Unexecuted Final Order of Removal (November 6, 2008)

    This practice advisory by Mary Kenney, is one of the three which discuss interim regulations that give USCIS jurisdiction over the adjustment applications of an "arriving alines" parolee who is in removal proceedings.

    Practice Advisory: Adjustment of Status of "Arriving Aliens" Under the Interim Regulations: Challenging the BIA's Denial of a Motion to Reopen, Remand, or Continue a Case (April 16, 2007)

    This practice advisory is the third in a series about interim regulation, adopted May 12, 2006, which give USCIS jurisdiction over the adjustment applications of an "arriving alien" parolee who is in removal proceedings.

    Derivatives

    ASISTA Practice Update: Form I-539 Extensions of Stay & Passport Requirements for U Nonimmigrants (July 2019)

    ASISTA has prepared a brief advisory to address the recent trends regarding adjudication of I-539 extensions for U nonimmigrants. Practitioners report that USCIS is issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) asking for proof that the applicant had a valid passport at the time of filing. This advisory contains practice tips for advocates to prevent and address this issue. The  Word version can be accessed here.

    Copyright @2019 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Extension of Status for U and T Nonimmigrants (Corrected and Reissued, October 4, 2016)

    This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance about extension of status for T and U nonimmigrants, including any related I-485, application to adjust status. This PM rescind and replaces PM 602-0032.1. This PM revises chapters 39.1 and 39.2 of the Adjudicator's Field Manual. 

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Age-Out Protections for Derivative U Status Holders: Petitions, Initial Approvals and Extension of Status (October 24, 2012)

    This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance relating to certain U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions that are being held for final adjudication or have had their prior approvals limited in time due to derivative aging-out. This PM also authorizes the approval of U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions for the full eligibility period of four years, allowing the U-3 derivative to remain in U nonimmigrant status past his or her 21st birthday, if necessary. This PM updates the Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) by adding Chapters 39.1 (f)(4)(v-viii)- AFM Updated AD11-41.

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Extension of Status for T and U Nonimmigrants (February 23, 2011)

    This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance about extensions of status for T and U Nonimmigrants, including any related application for adjustment of status. 

    USCIS Policy Memorandum: Extension of U Nonimmigrant Status for Derivative Family Members Using Form I-539 (June 22, 2010)

    This policy memorandum (PM) allows extension of status for U derivative family members due to consular processing delays, and for other reasons as well.

    U Derivatives Chart

    This chart summarizes situations to consider when working with principals with children. Principal U applicants may file derivative applications for their spouses, unmarried children under 21 and, if the applicant is under 21, for parents and unmarried siblings, INA 101(a)(15)(U)(ii), by filing form I-198A.

    AOS Processing Cover Sheet for Families with U Visas

    This processing cover sheet will help you identify the status of U visa nonimmigrant derivatives applicants and potential red flags.

    Sample Parole Cover Letter for Derivatives of U Conditional Approvals

    Sample parole cover letter for U derivatives of U conditional approvals, written by Nora Phillips, of the firm Phillips & Urias in Los Angeles, California. Posted with permission fro the author.

    Humanitarian Parole

    CLINIC and ASISTA Practice Advisory on Parole (December 2015)

    This practice advisory contains tips for requesting humanitarian parole for derivatives where the principal U visa applicant has been awarded a conditional U visa grant.

    Recommendations Regarding USCIS' Role in the Petition Information Management Service (May 16, 2012) 

    The Petition Information Management Service  (PIMS) was created to provide consular officers with electronic access to petition information. 

    CLINIC Sample Parole Request Cover Letter

    This is a sample of a cover letter request for parole issuance to a client who have received conditional approval of U derivative status and currently resides abroad.

    Sample Parole Cover Letter for Derivatives of U Conditional Approvals

    Sample parole cover letter for U derivatives of U conditional approvals, written by Nora Phillips, of the firm Phillips & Urias in Los Angeles, California. Posted with permission fro the author.

    Processing U Visas Abroad

    Foreign Affairs Manual and Handbook - 9 FAM

     Field Adjudicator's Manual for Department of State with information on U visas.

    Webinar Presentation: Advanced Issues on U Visa Consular Processing  (February 20, 2013)

    Information and strategies for how to address issues when presenting U visas for processing abroad. 

    Copyright @2013 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance.

    Q&A from CIS

    Notes and Practice Pointers from VAWA, U and T Visa Stakeholder Events, created by ASISTA and partner organizations (2016)

    This advisory contains general information shared by USCIS staff during multiple stakeholders events during this year, with added practice pointers and clarification where relevant. This advisory was authored by ASISTA Immigration Assistance, Immigration Center for Women and Children (ICWC), Immigration Legal Resource Center, Just Neighbors Ministry Inc., Sanctuary for Families, AILA VAWA, U and T Visa National Committee.

    Copyright@2016 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    ASISTA Letter to USCIS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on ICE Courthouse Enforcement (March 14, 2014)

    ASISTA urges that DHS reassess ICE's enforcement actions at state and local courthouses given its negative effects ion immigrants survivors of violence.

    Letter to USCIS on U Visa Cap. Issues (January 21, 2014)

    AILA and ASISTA letter to USCIS to address outstanding issues with regard to policies and procedures now that the U visa cap has been met for current fiscal year, including issues of parole for derivatives of conditional approvals. 

    ASISTA Initial Advisory: U Visa Cap and Practice Pointers from VSC Stakeholder Teleconference (December 11, 2013)

    These notes include important information, especially regarding USCIS reaching the U visa cap and other updates and changes. Please check back to the ASISTA website for changes and updates.

    Copyright@2013 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    VSC Stakeholder Event Notes and Practice Pointers, created by ASISTA and AILA VAWA, U and T Visa Committee (October 18, 2013)

    This is a summary of the information shared during the Vermont Service Center (VSC) Stakeholder's meeting in St. Albans, VT on October 18, 2013. 

    Copyright@2013 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    VSC Brochure (October, 2013)

    VSC brochure distributed at the VSC Stakeholder Event on October 18, 2013.

    VSC Update (October, 2013)

    VSC update on new and ongoing activities.

    VSC RFE Final Report (October, 2013)

    The AILA VAWA Committee and ASISTA created the RFE Project to identify significant evidentiary problems. This is the resulting report.

    VSC Stakeholder Event Notes and Practice Pointers, created by ASISTA (September 18, 2012)

    This is a summary of the information shared during the Vermont Service Center (VSC) Stakeholder's teleconference on September 28, 2012. Appendix I to VSC Fall 2012 Teleconference: Expedite Criteria

    Copyright@2012 by ASISTA Immigration Assistance. All rights reserved. This product or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used without express written permission from ASISTA Immigration Assistance. 

    Key Points from CIS Ombudgal Call (September 12, 2011)

    These notes on the CIS Q&A call also contain specific questions on forms I-539, I-192, and I-193.

    Teleconference Recap and Q&A (June 20, 2011)

    This USCIS Q&A answers questions about processing and filing U visas, as well as offers information pertinent to potential U visa holders.

    Advance Questions/Discussion Topics for VSC Meeting with Brief Updates (August 20, 2009)

    Q&A on various topics, including information on derivatives VAWA, passport issues, public benefits, and more. Prepared by Gail Pendleton on behalf of the National Network to End Violence against Immigrant Women,

    Advance Questions/Discussion Topics for VSC Meeting (August 20, 2009)

    Q&A Session with the Vermont Service Center of USCIS in August 2009.