An Immigration Attorney Can Help Crime Victims Get a Visa
The U.S. government has a program where victims of serious crimes can get a visa to remain in the country. It may sound good on paper but, in reality, the program to help nonimmigrant crime victims has many problems and isn’t all that it could be. As a result, many victims of crimes who should be granted visas are faced with many obstacles that leave them without the hoped-for visa. If you are a crime victim who hopes to get a U nonimmigrant visa, it can help to have an experienced Kentucky immigration lawyer on your side to fight for the immigration status you deserve.
The Kentucky immigration lawyers at Carman Fullerton, PLLC are here to help victims of crime get the visa they need to remain in the U.S.. We know immigration laws, the system and its problems, and how to take the best approach to fight removal and get you on the path to citizenship. We are aware of how important it is for families to be able to stay together and be allowed to live and work in the United States. We will aggressively fight for your rights.
We offer a consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation and answer your questions about Kentucky immigration laws. Your future is too important to risk. Call us today at 859-971-0060 to see how we can help.
How Do Crime Victims Get a US Visa?
A Crime Victim Visa Lawyer Can Determine Eligibility
If you have been a victim of crime and wish to qualify for a U-visa, our attorneys know that there are eligibility requirements that you must meet. These are:
- You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity, such as blackmail, extortion, felonious assault, kidnapping, murder, prostitution, rape, or trafficking.
- You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.
- You have information about the criminal activity.
- You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting the crime.
- The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
- You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.
However, to receive your visa, you must first have your helpfulness to the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity certified by a federal, state or local law enforcement agency. This is not always easy to obtain without help from an immigration attorney who knows the system.
How do Crime Victims Get a US Visa?
Immigration Lawyer in Kentucky Deals With Obstacles
While you can file a form yourself at the address listed under Where to File in the Form I-918 instructions (PDF, 423.7 KB) and web page, making mistakes can invalidate your claim. In addition, crime victims who may qualify for a visa still face many obstacles. The New York Times reports the following problems:
- Limits to visas – There is a limit of 10,000 U visas available each year. (As of September 2015, there were nearly 64,000 pending applications, a backlog of six to seven years.)
- Police are often prejudiced against undocumented immigrants, and court officials and law enforcement are ignorant of the law and do nothing to help.
- Authorities may suspect that those seeking these visas are fabricating or exaggerating crimes in order to obtain the visa.
- There is a complex application process requiring the proper legal strategy to have a better chance of success.
Also, law enforcement and court officials may not make filling out the required forms a priority, according to Reuters, leaving immigrants in legal limbo. There are variations in visa certifications in different areas of the country, which suggests that interest by government officials to help varies widely, and there could be thousands of victims of violent crimes who have sought U visas but haven’t gotten one. Reuters reported some law enforcement agencies make up their own rules as to which cases will be certified. Because of this approach, it is often local law enforcement, not the USCIS, deciding who does or does not get a U visa.
Though the program is far from perfect, if you live in Kentucky and think you may qualify for a U visa, you can learn more on this USCIS webpage. Since the process may be confusing, if you have any questions about the U visa or another aspect of immigration law, call our experienced and compassionate attorneys. We will:
- research your case, show how you were a crime victim and how you are helpful to law enforcement, and make sure law enforcement provides the certification you deserve
- coach you to make sure you know how to answer questions and handle any interviews
- make sure everything is done properly and forms are filed correctly
- advocate for you if your claim is denied.
Our Kentucky crime victim immigration lawyers will be there throughout the entire process, answering your questions and addressing your concerns.
Why Do I Need a Kentucky Crime Victim Visa Immigration Attorney?
Why Choose Us?
The U.S. legal system is complicated, and making mistakes could result in consequences as severe as facing deportation. Immigrants, especially those who may not speak English fluently and who may be unfamiliar with the U.S. legal system, should not try to represent themselves.
The compassionate immigration attorneys at Carman Fullerton know what you are going through and the importance of being granted a visa. We have many years of experience as Kentucky immigration lawyers and know the ins and outs of the legal system and how to petition for a visa. You can benefit from our knowledge, fluency in English and legal education.
A Kentucky immigration attorney at Carman Fullerton will approach you in a way that makes you feel comfortable. We will work with you on your terms, not ours. We understand that you may feel vulnerable and confused, and you may feel like the deck of cards is stacked against you. It is an unfriendly time in some corners of America for immigrants, so we do everything possible to make you feel safe, listened to and understood. We understand that your future is at stake and it is critical that you receive personalized, skilled, and effective legal representation to prevent removal. You can trust us. We speak your language.
Whether you’re a crime victim, or recovering from a serious accident, facing criminal charges, dealing with the possible break up of your marriage and family, have a workers’ compensation claim, or ICE is threatening to deport you or a loved one, the Kentucky visa lawyers at Carman Fullerton can help.
Don’t delay. Call us today at 859-971-0060.
Attorney Kirby J. Fullerton
Mr. Fullerton’s practice is focused on immigration law. He speaks Spanish, and represents clients in cases before the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He began his career practicing criminal defense, and understands how matters in criminal courts can affect a client’s immigration status. [Attorney Bio]