U Visa Cases

U visas are a form of immigration benefits for survivors of certain crimes who have been helpful in the investigation or prosecution of that crime.  This library contains information about U visa requirements, the law, policy, advocacy, practice pointers and more.

    Overview

    USCIS: U Visa Overview

    Link to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website with an overview of  U visa program and requirements.

    ASISTA Newsletter: First Step in U Visa Prep

    This ASISTA advisory from fall 2012 contains an overview of U visa requirements and benefits.

    USCIS: U Visa Date FY2012- 10/2018 

    Link to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website reports. These reports provide data on various aspects of USCIS operations. In addition, certain tables list the USCIS office responsible for the adjudication.

    Winning U Visas: Getting the Law Enforcement Certification (February 2008)

    Written by Gail Pendleton, this is the second in a series on how to win U visa cases, with an emphasis on the law's requirements as well as building a relationship with law enforcement.  2008 Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group. Reprinted with permission; all rights reserved.

    Winning U Visas after the Regulations (January 2008)

    Written by Gail Pendleton, this is the first in a series on how to win U visa cases.  2008 Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group. Reprinted with permission; all rights reserved.

    CIS U Visa Certification Fact Sheet (September 5, 2007)

    Fact sheet created by USCIS on certifying U nonimmigrant status for law enforcement (Form I-918, Supplemental B).  It offers basic information as to whom may be eligible for a U visa, and under what circumstances. 

    Overcoming Inadmissibility for U visa Applicants

    Article written by Gail Pendleton on the new standard for the waiver, as well as potential strategies for U visa applicant. Click here to access Overcoming Inadmissibility for U visa Applications in Word Version. 

    Practice Advisory: Best Evidence, Credibility, and Any Credible Evidence (May 29, 2004)

    This advisory, written by Gail Pendleton and Cecelia Friedman Levin, reviews two common ways in which applications may fail to sufficiently support the credibility of the  documentation supplied.

    Copyright @2004 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.

    U Visa Legal Authority

    - Statutes -

     

    U visa: Finding and Purpose

    Section 1513 of  VAWA 2000 established the U visa program in October 28, 2000. This excerpt contains the Congressional findings and purposes in establishing the U visa program. For full text of VAWA 2000, click here.

    INA 101(a)(15)(U): Statutory Definition of U visa Relief 

    This is the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that defines U visa relief.

    INA 214(p)(14): Requirements of U visa Relief

    This section of the Immigration and Nationality Act defines the requirements for U visa relief for principals and derivative applicants.

    INA 212(d)(14): Inadmissibility Waiver for U visa holders 

    This section of the Immigration and Nationality Act defines the standard for the inadmissibility waiver for U visa applicants and derivatives. 

    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.

    9 FAM

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

    Wilberforce Amendments

    Wilberforce Amendments on Bona Fide Work Authorization.

    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 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. 

    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.

    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.

    Evidentiary Protections & Confidentiality

    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.

    Perez v. Seafood Peddler (September 10, 2013)

    The district court order in this non-precedent case prohibited the defendants from asking about the immigration status of a witness or any other person. The court reasoned that allowing such questions would have a "chilling effect" on an individual seeking to prosecute their rights. Further, the court prohibited inquiry during the discovery process regarding the U visa process and whether any person involved in this case has filed a U visa petition. Moreover, the court adopted the plaintiff's position that 8 U.S.C. 1367 prohibited disclosure of any information relation to the U visa.

    First INS Memorandum: Non-Disclosure and Other Prohibitions Relating to Battered Aliens: IIRIRA 384 (May 5, 1997)

    This first INS memo on the special confidentiality provisions and protections against using information from abusers remains the best government document on this issue. Read along with 8 USC 1367 and other documents in this section.

    - Regulations -

    I-918 Forms & Instructions

    Link to the USCIS website with the I-918 U visa application and related forms including the Supplement A for derivatives and Supplement B: Law Enforcement Certification with instructions. NOTE: Always ensure you are using the most version of the form.

    I-912 Form & Instructions

    Link to USCIS section on I-912, Request for Fee Waiver form and instructions.

    8 USC 1367 Violation Reporting (March 2011)

    This document contains information regarding to penalties for disclosure of information relating to battered or abused immigrants as well as use of information obtained from batterers and their families. It also provides contact information to report violation of VAWA confidentiality.

    Memos & Agency Decisions

    AAO Decision: AAO Adopts (and remands) for Category Approach to Felonious Assault? (May 15, 2018)

    The AAO seems to have paid attention to our amicus arguments on U visa crimes as "categories" in their decision in the case in the case underlying our amicus, see attached redacted decision and the amicus. We will beed to keep pushing this is framework, however, so please continue using the arguments in the amicus when arguing crime categories. We do not, for instance, agree that the DV category contemplates only the facts involving decision  relationships; many crimes are DV depending on the facts of the crimes, not just the relationships. One step at a time, thought! Note that the amicus strategy seems to work (gets their attention), so if you have a case that is likely to go up to the AAO on that issue that seems intractable at VSC, please let us know early in the process so we can round up a firm and organize the arguments we should all be using. Congratulations and thanks to Yasmine Farhang (and Deisy) who worked on the brief in chief, to ICWC for joining and helping us craft the arguments, and to Jennifer Colyer & Daniel Fishbein at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shover & Jacobson for their excellent work on the amicus brief!

    ASISTA Amicus Brief to AAO on Category (February 27, 2018)

    Congratulations and thanks to Yasmine Farhang (and Deisy) who worked on the brief in chief, to ICWC for joining and helping us craft the arguments, and to Jennifer Colyer & Daniel Fishbein at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shiver & Jacobson for their excellent work on the amicus brief!

    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.

    AAO Decision Us can Overcome Reinstatement (January 12, 2017)

    Many thanks to Rekha Sharma-Crawford for pursuing this case to AAO, vindicating our long-posited argument that a 212(a)(9)(C) waiver eliminates the underlying predicate for 241(a)(5)

    AAO Reverses VSC Workplace-Based U Visa Denials (January 5, 2015)

    AAO decision finding substantial harm from witness tampering, and remanding to the VSC #1.

    AAO Reverses VSC Workplace-Based U Visa Denials (December 19, 2014)

    AAO decision finding substantial harm from witness tampering, and remanding to the VSC #2.

    AAO Reverses VSC Workplace-Based U Visa Denials (December 19, 2014)

    AAO decision finding substantial harm from witness tampering, and remanding to the VSC #3.

    AAO Reverses VSC Workplace-Based U Visa Denials (December 19, 2014)

    AAO decision finding substantial harm from witness tampering, and remanding to the VSC #4.

    AAO Decision on U Inadmissibility 

    This AAO decision makes clear that, although it can't review inadmissibility waivers, it can review inaccurate inadmissibility determinations by VSC.

    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.

    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: 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.

    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.

    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).

    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: 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: 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. 

    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.

    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.

    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. Click here to access Virtue Memo on Any Credible Evidence Standard (and Extreme Hardship) in Word Version.

    Case Law - Amicus Briefs

    7th Cir. Amicus Brief on Sanchez Sosa Continuance Issues (February 19, 2019)

    ASISTA, along with the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Casa de Esperanza, Futures Without Violence, National Alliance To End Sexual Violence, and the Tahirih Justice Center, submitted an amicus brief in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding how just must follow the guidelines outlined in the 2012 BIA case Matter of Sanchez Sosa, and how failing to do so contravenes the protections in found in the Violence Against Women Act. We are grateful to and for the tremendous effort of Greenberg Traurig in Chicago, IL for their pro bono representation. Special thanks to Greg Ostfeld, Brian Straw, Symone Shinton, Christopher Mair and Pamela Ickes. Click here to download the 7th Cir. Amicus Brief in Word version. 

    Amicus Brief on Direct Victim Definition (April 23, 2018)

    Here is the amicus brief we filed to the AAO with Her Justice and ICWC, Debevoise & Plympton doing the heavy lifting (and excellent crafting) for us. Thanks to all involved, great job! Click here to download the Amicus Brief on Direct Victim Definition in Word version.

    We suggest you use this framework when making your "not-obvious" victim arguments.

    AAO Decision: AAO Adopts (and remands) for Category Approach to Felonious Assault? (May 15, 2018)

    The AAO seems to have paid attention to our amicus arguments on U visa crimes as "categories" in their decision in the case in the case underlying our amicus, see attached redacted decision and the amicus. We will beed to keep pushing this is framework, however, so please continue using the arguments in the amicus when arguing crime categories. We do not, for instance, agree that the DV category contemplates only the facts involving decision  relationships; many crimes are DV depending on the facts of the crimes, not just the relationships. One step at a time, thought! Note that the amicus strategy seems to work (gets their attention), so if you have a case that is likely to go up to the AAO on that issue that seems intractable at VSC, please let us know early in the process so we can round up a firm and organize the arguments we should all be using. Congratulations and thanks to Yasmine Farhang (and Deisy) who worked on the brief in chief, to ICWC for joining and helping us craft the arguments, and to Jennifer Colyer & Daniel Fishbein at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shover & Jacobson for their excellent work on the amicus brief!

    Amicus Brief to AAO on Category (February 27, 2018)

    Congratulations and thanks to Yasmine Farhang (and Deisy) who worked on the brief in chief, to ICWC for joining and helping us craft the arguments, and to Jennifer Colyer & Daniel Fishbein at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shiver & Jacobson for their excellent work on the amicus brief!

    7th Circ. Rejects BIA Khan (d)(3) Waivers for Us in Proceedings (October 6, 2017)

    Many thanks, again, to Chuck Roth for NIJC for leading this effort. Great job! (Gail Pendleton) Baez-Sanchez v. Sessions, (7th Cir. Oct. 6, 2017), Non-citizens seeking U visas as victims of crime may need to seek waivers for inadmissibility. By regulation, a noncitizen may invoke INA § 212(d)(14) (which is by statute entrusted to DHS) or § 212(d)(3), the general nonimmigrant waiver. The BIA has historically exercised some authority over § 212(d)(3) waivers. In L.D.G. v. Holder, 744 F.3d 1022 (7th Cir. 2014), the Seventh Circuit found that the BIA and IJs had (d)(3) waiver authority as to U visas. The BIA disagreed in Matter of Khan, 26 I&N Dec. 797 (BIA 2016), doubting that (d)(3) waivers were meant for U visa applicants, suggesting that (d)(3) waivers were unavailable to non-citizens except at Ports of Entry, and finding that even if the Attorney General has (d)(3) authority, that it has not been delegated by regulation to the BIA. The Seventh Circuit rejected Matter of Khan in a published decision (Easterbrook, J.). First, the Court rejected the BIA’s finding that IJs lack authority to decide matters except where authority is delegated by regulation. Even without a specific delegation, held the Court, 8 C.F.R. § 1003.10 provides that “IJs may exercise all of the Attorney General’s powers ‘in the cases that come before them’, unless some other regulation limits that general delegation.” Second, while the government’s briefs suggested that U visa waiver authority had been entrusted to DHS rather than to the Attorney General (and thus to IJs), the BIA made no such finding in Khan. Indeed, Khan expressly assumed that the AG may maintain some waiver authority. 26 I&N Dec. at 801. Under the Chenery Doctrine, the government attorneys are bound by the agency’s decision; the government’s attorneys therefore could not defend Khan on the ground that the Attorney General lacks waiver authority by statute. Finally, the Board doubted that (d)(3) waivers could be sought by non-citizens within the U.S. But U visa regulations make no such distinction. Found the Court, “the Secretary of Homeland Security seems to believe that he has the authority to grant waivers of inadmissibility under §1182(d)(3)(A)(ii) to aliens in the United States. See 8 C.F.R. §212.17. If the Secretary can do this, why not the Attorney General?” Baez-Sanchez and L.D.G. are crucial for noncitizen victims of crime facing removal from the United States. Allowing IJs to decide on waiver applications ensures fair process, in-person proceedings, access to counsel, reasoned decision making, and the availability of appellate review. NIJC applauds today’s decision, and will work to ensure fair process for all non-citizens facing removal from the United States.

    Amicus Brief Baez-Sanchez 7th Circuit (March 13, 2017)

    Amicus brief filed by Americans for Immigrant Justice, ASISTA, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, Freedom Network USA, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Click here to download the Amicus Brief Baez-Sanchez in Word version.

    Counsel of record is a senior counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Associates at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP also assisted in the preparation of this brief. Attorneys with the Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic and the non-profit entities Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto and Sanctuary for Families further assisted in the preparation of this brief.

    Amicus Brief Sunday (November 7, 2016)

    Amicus brief in support of petition for rehearing or rehearing en Banc filed by Sanctuary For Families, ASISTA Immigration Assistance, New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Tahirih Justice Center, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project, the Immigrant Defense Project, and Jayashri Srikantiah (collectively, “Amici”). Click here to download the Amicus Brief Sunday in Word version.

    Amicus Brief on U Visa as Admission (May 9, 2016)

    This is an amicus brief submitted by AIC, AILA, ASISTA, APIGBV, CLINIC, and other national advocacy organizations discussion whether a U visa constitutes an admission under the INA.

    Amicus Brief on CIS Reliance on Arrests 

    Amici curiae submitted this brief because United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") has rendered a decision that denies important protections to immigrants who are victims of domestic violence and creates a dangerous precedent for the use of uncorroborated and unreliable evidence in immigration proceedings.

    Perez v. Seafood Peddler (September 10, 2013)

    The district court order in this non-precedent case prohibited the defendants from asking about the immigration status of a witness or any other person. The court reasoned that allowing such questions would have a "chilling effect" on an individual seeking to prosecute their rights. Further, the court prohibited inquiry during the discovery process regarding the U visa process and whether any person involved in this case has filed a U visa petition. Moreover, the court adopted the plaintiff's position that 8 U.S.C. 1367 prohibited disclosure of any information relation to the U visa.

    Reopening and Termination of Proceedings for Approved U Visa (March 14, 2013) 

    BIA disagrees with DHS opposition, grants reopening and termination of proceedings for approved U visa (not yet adjusted)

    Matter of Sanchez Sosa (June 7, 2012)

    This case sets criteria for immigration judges considering continuances for U applicants in proceedings. See ICE memoranda for procedure for requesting prima facie determinations from VSC.

    Matter of Yauri (October 28, 2009)

    Oct. 28, 2009 decision stating: USCIS has exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate applications for adjustment of status; the BIA generally lacks authority to reopen proceedings under final orders of exclusion, deportation or removal; and the Board will not generally exercise its discretion to reopen proceedings sua sponte for an arriving alien to pursue adjustment of status.

    Matter of T - Deportation Proceedings (November 25, 1959)

    Where evidence of fraud of marriage to a U.S. citizen was found insufficient to support respondent's deportation under section 241(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, deportation on invalid visa charge under section 241(a)(1) is also precluded when predicated upon same evidence of fraudulent marriage. Act of 1952-Section 241(a)(1) [8 U.S.C. 1251 (a)]-Inadmissible at time of entry, not nonquota immigrant.

    - Us for Lawful Permanent Residents -

    ASISTA Amicus Brief on LPR and U Visa Eligibility (February 26, 2015)

    Brief for amicus curiae ASISTA regarding jurisdiction to adjudicate a U visa petition for a former LPR in removal proceedings.

    AAO Brief on U Visa and LPR Status (September 26, 2014)

    Petitioner's brief on appeal on the denial of form I-918, petition for U nonimmigrant status.

    U Visa Cases in Proceedings

    7th Cir. Amicus Brief on Sanchez Sosa Continuance Issues (February 19, 2019)

    ASISTA, along with the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Casa de Esperanza, Futures Without Violence, National Alliance To End Sexual Violence, and the Tahirih Justice Center, submitted an amicus brief in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding how just must follow the guidelines outlined in the 2012 BIA case Matter of Sanchez Sosa, and how failing to do so contravenes the protections in found in the Violence Against Women Act. We are grateful to and for the tremendous effort of Greenberg Traurig in Chicago, IL for their pro bono representation. Special thanks to Greg Ostfeld, Brian Straw, Symone Shinton, Christopher Mair and Pamela Ickes. Click here to download the 7th Cir. Amicus Brief in Word version. 

    (d)(3) Waivers

    Amicus Brief Sunday (November 7, 2016)

    Amicus brief in support of petition for rehearing or rehearing en Banc filed by Sanctuary For Families, ASISTA Immigration Assistance, New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Tahirih Justice Center, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project, the Immigrant Defense Project, and Jayashri Srikantiah (collectively, “Amici”). Click here to download the Amicus Brief Sunday in Word version.

    Amicus Brief Baez-Sanchez 7th Circuit (March 13, 2017)

    Amicus brief filed by Americans for Immigrant Justice, ASISTA, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, Freedom Network USA, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Click here to download the Amicus Brief Baez-Sanchez in Word version.

    Counsel of record is a senior counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Associates at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP also assisted in the preparation of this brief. Attorneys with the Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic and the non-profit entities Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto and Sanctuary for Families further assisted in the preparation of this brief.

    - Sample Motions -

    Decisions & Advisories

    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.

    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.

    Litigation

    - EAD Litigation -

    Amicus Brief on Bona Fide EAD for U Applicants

    Many thanks to Celso Perez and Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli & Pratt for crafting the brief for us, to Julie Carpenter of Tahirih Justice Center and our other core group drafters, and to all the organizations that signed on. Click here to download Amicus Brief on Bona Fide EAD for U Applicants in Word version 

    U Visa Resources

    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. 

    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.

    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.

    Derivatives

    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.

    Responding to Discovery

    Webinar Recording on Challenging Discovery 

    U Visa Discoverability: What To Do? This is a webinar training sponsored by the Family Justice Center Alliance, presented by Susan Breall, Wanda Lucibello, Jonathan Moore, Mike Agnew, and Gail Pendleton. This webinar explores different strategies about how to respond to U visa requests (or other immigration files) in criminal court and may apply to other legal venues as well.  

    Understanding and Responding to Subpoenas: A Guide for Immigration Attorneys Representing U Visa Applicants 

    Developed by Stanford Law School's Immigrants' Rights Clinic, in collaboration with Bay Rea Legal Aid. 

    Order Granting Motion for Protective Order Regarding U Visa Information (May 14, 2018) 

    We recently won a good order from a federal district court judge in Eastern Washington granting our motion for protective order regarding u visa information. The court prohibited all discovery of a u visa information and documents in a case where we represent five farmworker women on sexual harassment and retaliation claims. The decision makes clear that a pending u visa petition does not diminish the chilling effect of such discovery, and continues to rely on Rivera v. NIBCO as the guiding law on this issue in the Ninth Circuit. A great outcome in our case, and one that we hope can be used elsewhere to argue this issue. State of Washington and Diaz Silvas et al. v. Horning Brothers, NO. 2:17-CV-0149-TOR, 2018 WL  2208215 (E.D. Wash., May 14, 2018)

    Sample Motion to Quash

    Developed by Stanford Law School's Immigrants' Rights Clinic, in collaboration with Bay Rea Legal Aid. 

    U Visas in the Employment Context

    NELP Practice Manual: U visas for Victims of Crime in the Workplace (May 2014)

    This practice manual has several templates for requests to DOL (Eunice H. Cho).

    Order Granting Motion for Protective Order Regarding U Visa Information (May 14, 2018) 

    We recently won a good order from a federal district court judge in Eastern Washington granting our motion for protective order regarding u visa information. The court prohibited all discovery of a u visa information and documents in a case where we represent five farmworker women on sexual harassment and retaliation claims. The decision makes clear that a pending u visa petition does not diminish the chilling effect of such discovery, and continues to rely on Rivera v. NIBCO as the guiding law on this issue in the Ninth Circuit. A great outcome in our case, and one that we hope can be used elsewhere to argue this issue. State of Washington and Diaz Silvas et al. v. Horning Brothers, NO. 2:17-CV-0149-TOR, 2018 WL  2208215 (E.D. Wash., May 14, 2018)

    Revised DHS-DOL Worksite Enforcement MOU (May 20, 2016)

    NILC and NELP recently updated the fact sheet on the DHS-DOL worksite enforcement MOU in light of the recent announcement that the EEOC and NLRB have been added to the MOU.

    Addendum to the Revised DHS-DOL MOU (May 6, 2016)

    Addendum of the revised MOU between the Department of Homeland Security and Labor concerning enforcement activities at worksite.

    A New Understanding of Substantial Abuse (2014)

    Evaluation harm in U visa petitions for immigrant victims of workplace crimes (Authors: Eunice H. Cho, Giselle Hass, and Leticia Salcedo)

    Effectively Framing a Workplace-Base U Visa Application (June 17, 2013)

    Gail Pendleton of ASISTA and Eunice Cho of the National Employment Law Project discuss best practices in framing U cases arising in the workplace, including: framing the qualifying crime, obtaining useful certifications, identifying and presenting substantial harm and inadmissibility waiver arguments; and organizing your application to achieve success. The presenters also discuss strategies for responding to requests for evidence and tackling emerging legal and policy issues arising in this dynamic area of practice.

    Letter to USICS on Substantial Abuse Determination (March 28, 2013)

    This letter is the result of collaboration between NELP, Dr. Giselle Hass, and ASISTA, to develop a framework for USCIS and advocates to identify factors on substantial abuse in the workplace. The framework builds on theories of abuse suffered by immigrant survivors in cases of domestic and sexual abuse, which form the bulk of cases currently granted U visas.

    DOL Memo: Human Trafficking, Training and Employment Guidance (October 24, 2012)

    U.S. Department of Labor memo on the role of the public workforce system in the delivery of services and referrals to victims of human trafficking.