New York Lawyers Pursue U Visas for Undocumented Victims of Crime
Skillful attorneys aid individuals who cooperate with law enforcement
Crime victims should not hesitate to report crimes because they fear removal from the United States or other negative consequences related to their immigration status. Established in 2000 under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), the U visa program gives people a chance to stay in this country when they cooperate with law enforcement to prosecute criminals. With three offices in the New York area, Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP assists individuals who seek lawful residency in the United States after they’ve suffered serious harm at the hands of a criminal. Since 1955, we’ve given clients the chance to escape abuse and build a successful life.
Established firm works to obtain green cards for clients facing removal
Nearly 20 years since the passage of the TVPA, authorities, activists and immigration lawyers are still working to safeguard victims who have been exploited by criminals, including those who have forced them into sex work, debt bondage or employment in illegal conditions. We stand up for people who have been mistreated and will explain each facet of the U visa program, including:
- Available visas — Congress allocated 10,000 U visas to be issued each year, not including authorizations for spouses and other family members. Once the annual cap is reached, applicants for U status are placed on a waitlist and can be eligible for deferred action. While on the waitlist, applicants and derivative relatives, such as a spouse or unmarried child for applicants over 21, can receive employment authorization.
- Presence in the United States — Generally, someone whose U visa request is approved can obtain an adjustment of status if he or she has been physically present in the United States for three continuous years. Unless the applicant is required to be out of the country to participate in an investigation or legal proceeding, they cannot leave the United States for more than 90 days at a time or a total of 180 days during the three-year period.
- Public interest — For an applicant to be approved for a U visa, the Department of Homeland Security must rule that the applicant’s continued presence in the United States is in the public interest because he or she can aid in the investigation and/or prosecution of a suspected criminal.
If favorably adjudicated, the U visa grants permission to remain and work in the country for up to four years and allows beneficiaries to eventually apply for a green card, which conveys permanent resident status. Our immigration law attorneys are strong advocates who work to give undocumented immigrants who are crime victims the best chance to live without fear in this country. Even if you’re not sure that you or someone you know might qualify for a U visa, we can review the facts and outline what options are available.
Contact a knowledgeable NYC attorney regarding a U visa issue
Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP advises clients on a full range of immigration-related matters, including applications for U visas and other types of authorizations that help individuals live and remain within the United States. Please call 212-203-4795 or contact us online today to schedule an appointment. We have offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Peekskill.