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Lancaster County U/T Visa Lawyers

Have you been the victim of a crime in the United States, and have you helped in any way with the investigation of the crime? Or have you been brought into the United States by people who tricked you and forced you to work in unfair conditions? You may be eligible to apply for special immigration relief, called a U-Visa or a T-Visa, available to victims of certain crimes even if they are in the country without permission. Successful U-Visa and T-Visa applicants may apply for work authorization and eventually for permanent residence. Contact our U/T visa lawyers for a free consultation about your specific situation to find out if you might be eligible to apply for one of these forms of relief.

U/T Visa Lawyers | Here for Your Protection and Safety

If you are a victim of criminal activity in the United States, you may fear not only for your safety, but for your future in terms of residing here in the United States. For this reason, among others, U and T visas exist. To learn more about them or whether you qualify for one, continue reading and contact our Lancaster immigration lawyers today.

U Visas Vs. T Visas

U Visas are designed for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. Crimes that may qualify include, but are not limited to, domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of persons, and kidnapping.

T Visas, on the other hand, are specifically for those who have been victims of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking. To qualify, victims must comply with any reasonable requests from law enforcement for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking, unless they are under 18 or unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma.

The Process of Obtaining a U Visa

A brief overview of the process of obtaining a U visa is as follows:

  1. Eligibility Assessment: Determine if your situation aligns with the criteria for a U Visa. This includes being the victim of qualifying criminal activity and having information helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
  2. Certification of Cooperation: Obtain a certification from a law enforcement agency, prosecutor, judge, or other authority, indicating your willingness to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
  3. Application Preparation: Fill out Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, and gather all necessary documentation, including evidence of the crime, your cooperation, and the impact on you.
  4. Legal Representation: Consider working with a knowledgeable immigration attorney who can guide you through the process, ensuring all paperwork is completed accurately and advocating on your behalf.
  5. Filing and Waiting: After submitting your application, wait for USCIS to process it. This can take several years due to high demand and annual caps on U Visas.
  6. Interim Relief: If eligible, apply for work authorization while your U Visa application is pending.
  7. Approval and Beyond: Upon approval, you can legally stay and work in the U.S. for up to four years, with the possibility of applying for permanent residency after three years.

The Process of Obtaining a T Visa

Obtaining a T Visa is a critical step for human trafficking victims seeking to escape their traffickers and build a new life in the United States. The process involves:

  • Eligibility Verification: Confirm that you meet the T Visa requirements, including being a victim of severe trafficking, being in the United States due to trafficking, and complying with any reasonable law enforcement requests for investigations or prosecutions of trafficking.
  • Application Compilation: Complete Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status. Include detailed evidence of trafficking, your compliance with law enforcement, and the severe harm you would face if removed from the U.S.
  • Supporting Documents: Collect all necessary supporting documentation, such as evidence of trafficking, personal statements, and any law enforcement certifications if available.
  • Legal Support: Engage with an immigration lawyer experienced in T Visa cases. They can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the complexities of your application and advocating for your case.
  • Submission and Waiting Period: After submitting your application, await the decision from USCIS. Processing times can vary, but applicants are often eligible for interim benefits like work authorization.
  • Visa Issuance and Adjustment of Status: If approved, the T Visa allows you to stay in the U.S. for up to four years, with the possibility of applying for a Green Card after three years under certain conditions.

Contact Our Pennsylvania U/T Visa Lawyers Today

If you’re looking to obtain a U or T visa, or are otherwise seeking protection as an immigrant here in the United States, please don’t hesitate to contact our U/T visa lawyers today. We are on your side, and we will be, every step of the way.

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