U Visas - Requirements

This library contains information about U visa requirements, the law, policy, advocacy, practice pointers and more.

    Shortcuts to U Visa Sections

    Click Here to Access "Inadmissibility Issues"

    The Inadmissibility Issues Section contains: I-192 waivers, I-192 appeals, briefs, decisions & samples, criminal issues in immigration, u visa cases in proceedings & sample motions, BIA on cases in proceedings, responding to discovery, gang resources, extrinsic to ROC (police reports).

    Resources for Filing a U visa Case

    ASISTA Practice Advisory: Blank Spaces on Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status (February 27, 2020)

    ASISTA has updated its practice advisory regarding U visa application rejections due to blank spaces on the Form I-918 and I-918A. This updated advisory has filing practice pointers, as well as suggestions for re-filing rejected forms. Read the advisory here

    ASISTA Practice Pointer: Assessing whether to file a U Visa Petition for Victims at Risk of Removal (November, 2019)

    This practice advisory provides practitioners a road map for assessing a U Visa petitioner's potential risk of removal. 

    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: Tips for Representing U Visa Respondents (July 2019)

    ASISTA and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) recently published a new in-depth practice advisory that contains updates in policy and survivor-based advocacy strategies for U visa applicants at different stages of removal proceedings. This includes strategies for helping U visa applicants with final or prior orders of removal, those currently in removal proceedings, and options for survivors if they receive unfavorable decisions in immigration court. This advisory will be updated should new or additional policy developments impact its content.

    ASISTA Practice Pointers: I-94 v. I-797 Which U Visa Expiration Date Applies? (February 2019)

    Has your client been denied U adjustment of status because of an expired CBP-issued I-94 card? Was their U petition I-797 approval notice still valid when the I-485 was filed?  This practice pointer provides strategies for addressing expiration date discrepancies and avoiding problems in the future.

    Click here to download the ASISTA Practice Pointers: I-94 V. I-797 Which U Visa Expiration Date Applies? in Word version. 

    Annotated Notes and Practice Pointers: USCIS Teleconference on Notice to Appear (NTA) Updated Policy Guidance (December 5, 2018)

    These annotated notes have been compiled by ASISTA, AILA and ILRC, commenting on the information shared by USCIS during the November 15, 2018 national stakeholder teleconference. We added practice pointers and clarification to USCIS responses.

    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.

    Checklist of Necessary Documents for U Visa Applicants

    This checklist gives your client information on what forms, records, and important documentation your client might need for his/her U visa application.

    Sample U Visa Roadmap Cover Letter

    ASISTA staff put together a basic cover letter sample to include with your U visa application. You will also notice an area in the cover letter to include relevant legal arguments if you are petitioning for an I-192 waiver.

    Sample U Visa Index Template

    In conjunction with the basic cover letter above, ASISTA staff put together a basic document index template.

    Victim of Crime Advocate (Expert) Declaration Guidelines on Substantial Abuse

    Guidelines on substantial abuse prepared by Gail Pendleton.

    U Visas Requirements

    Showing Applicant as Victim of a Qualifying Crime

    Click Here to Access "U Visas in the Employment Context Section" 

    This library contains information about U visas in the employment context and decisions on workplace-based U visas. 

    RFE Response: U Qualifying Crime: Felonious Assault and Stalking

    Sample RFE response to USCIS on U qualifying crime.  Thank you to ASISTA Member, Anne Ketover Watkins, for sharing her sample response brief!

    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).

    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!

    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!

    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.

    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!

    Brief in Response to RFE on Application for U Nonimmigrant Status (February 2016)

    Re: Robbery falls into the category of felonious assault.

    - Showing Substantial Harm -

    Showing Substantial Harm

    Showing substantial physical or mental abuse (harm) by Gail Pendleton.

    Victim of Crime Advocate (Expert) Declaration Guidelines on Substantial Abuse

    Guidelines on substantial abuse prepared by Gail Pendleton.

    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.

    Showing Helpfulness in the Investigation or Prosecution

    Click Here to Access "Working with Law Enforcement Section"

    Working with law enforcement library contains information about qualifying agencies authorized to sign the form I-918 Supplemental B, and how to work with la enforcement agencies.

    Law Enforcement Certification Study: The Political Geography of the U Visa: Eligibility as a Matter of Locale (June 2014)

    In June 2014, University of North Caroline School of Law worked with ASISTA on the publication of a policy brief, entitled Visa Denied: The Political Geography of the U Visa: Eligibility as a Matter of Locale, to examine nationwide law enforcement certification practices for U visas. The policy brief contained the results of a survey of advocates which illustrated best practices and common problems with obtaining U visa certifications. The brief also suggests legal and policy recommendations and strategies for advocates to challenge inconsistent certification practices.

    DOL Policy (March 15, 2010) 

    Department of Labor Policy regarding U visa certifications.

    Corrections and Clarification to Police Reports 

    This form is an opportunity for applicants to correct and/or clarify a police report. This form would be especially important for cases where a language barrier created misunderstanding or false assumptions.

    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.  2009 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). 

    - Showing Applicant is Admissible or Eligible for a Waiver -

    Click Here to Access "Inadmissibility Issues Section"

    Inadmissibility issues section contains information on U visa waivers, including I-192 briefs, appeals, decisions, sample documents, and more.

    I-192 Form & Instructions 

    USCIS link to I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant.

    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. Here for Overcoming Inadmissibility for U visa Applications in Word Version. 

    Immigration Intake Form: Flagging Inadmissibility

    This intake provides important questions to ask to your client, and can be used as an intake form to determine how your client will best be served or if there is a case.

    RFE Excerpt on U Inadmissibility Waiver Factors

    This is an excerpt from a standard VSC request for evidence on U inadmissibility waivers.

    Sample Inadmissibility Questionnaire 

    Bilingual questionnaire that provides important questions to ask to your client.

    Sample U Visa Roadmap Cover Letter

    ASISTA staff put together a basic cover letter sample to include with your U visa application. You will also notice an area in the cover letter to include relevant legal arguments if you are petitioning for an I-192 waiver.

    Sample U Visa Index Template

    In conjunction with the basic cover letter above, ASISTA staff put together a basic document index template.

    Victim of Crime Advocate (Expert) Declaration Guidelines on Substantial Abuse

    Guidelines on substantial abuse prepared by Gail Pendleton.

    Memo on Police Reports in Affirmative Cases (June 2, 2017)

    Memorandum from Sanctuary for Families' Immigration Intervention Project (IIP) in response to Vermont Service Center (VSC)requests for copies of police reports detailing arrest, June 2, 2017. 

    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.