U Visa Requirements

Requirement #1: Were you the victim of a crime that happened in the U.S.?

Here is the list of qualifying crimes:

Abduction
Abusive Sexual Contact
Blackmail
Domestic Violence
Extortion
False Imprisonment
Genital Female Mutilation
Felonious Assault
Hostage
Incest
Involuntary Servitude
Kidnapping Manslaughter
Murder
Obstruction of Justice
Peonage
Perjury
Prostitution
Rape
Sexual Assault
Sexual Exploitation
Slave Trader
Torture
Trafficking
Witness Tampering
Unlawful Criminal Restraint
Other Related Crimes

Requirement #2: Did you help law enforcement?

Did you call the police?
Did you tell the police about what happened?
Did you answer their questions?
Did you let them take pictures?
Did you help the police find who did the crime?
Did you talk to a prosecutor?
Did you testify in court?

If you answered yes to any of these, you helped law enforcement.

To get a U-Visa, law enforcement must agree that you were helpful.

Requirement 3: Were you hurt?

To qualify you for the U-Visa, you must have been hurt.

You need to have suffered either physical or mental harm or both.

Sexual abuse will almost always make a person eligible for a U-Visa, because it causes both physical and mental harm.

It does not matter whether you were hurt by a single act, or by many acts over time, such as domestic violence.

Did you have pain?
Are you still injured or in pain?
If you were already sick, did the crime make it worse?
Did it affect how you look?
Did you have to miss work?
Did you have to go to the doctor?
Did you have to take medicine?
Were you anxious or depressed?
Did you have to see a therapist?
Did you feel sad?
Did you have trouble eating or sleeping?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have been hurt.

Requirement 4: Applying for a waiver if applicable.

You need a waiver if you have broken immigration laws, such as:

Coming to the U.S. without papers or with someone else’s papers
Returning to the country after you were deported
Saying that you were a U.S. citizen if you are not
Not showing up to immigration court for a hearing

 You need a waiver if you have committed almost any crime, including:

Any drug offense
Theft or fraud
Crimes involving violence
Helping a non-citizen enter the country illegally
Prostitution

You also need a waiver if:

You have a serious infectious disease (except HIV)
You are addicted to drugs
You have certain physical or mental disorders
You practice polygamy
You voted illegally

If you answered yes to any of the above, you need a waiver even if you were not convicted or arrested.