Does A U Visa Lead To A Green Card?
May 3, 2023

Does a U Visa Lead To a Green Card?

The U visa is a nonimmigrant visa for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. It allows the victim to remain in the United States for up to four years and work legally while they assist law enforcement with the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
After three years of being in the U visa status, the U visa holder may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR), also known as a green card holder. This requires meeting certain eligibility requirements, including having a valid U visa, being admissible to the United States, and meeting any other requirements for the specific category of adjustment of status being pursued.
Additionally, U visa holders may be eligible for other types of immigration relief, such as waivers of certain grounds of inadmissibility or eligibility for certain employment-based or family-based visas. It is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to explore all available options and determine the best course of action.

Eligibility Requirements For A U Visa

To be eligible for applying for a U visa in the United States you need to fulfill the following requirements: 

  • You’ve been a victim of a crime that qualifies under the U visa category. 
  • The crime you have suffered has caused significant harm to your mental and/or physical condition.
  • You have the understanding of the crime committed. However, if the victim is underage or is unable to explain the crime due to his or her disability, the parent or a guardian might deliver the information on behalf of the victim. 
  • You intend to assist the legal authorities in investigating and prosecuting the crime and the criminal. In a case where the victim is underage or is unable to help the law enforcement due to his or her disability, the parent, guardian or a close friend may assist the law on the victim’s behalf. 
  • The crime took place within the United States or goes against the U.S. state law
  • You can enter the country freely. Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant, can be used to request a waiver if you do not meet admissibility requirements.

Qualifying for a Green Card Through U Visa

It is possible to turn your U visa to a green card through a process known as adjustment of status. A U visa holder can change status of the U visa to being a permanent resident in the United States by fulfilling the following criteria:

  • You have been living in the United States for three consecutive years after entering the country with a U non-immigrant visa, and you continue to hold the status of your visa at the time of applying for permanent residence.
  • You have continually proven yourself helpful with the investigation and prosecution of crimes and cooperated with the law enforcement without unreasonably refusing to assist.
  • You are not forbidden to enter United States under section 212(a)(3)(E) of the Immigration Nationality Act; and
  • You prove that your stay in the United States is warranted on humanitarian, family unity, or public interest grounds.

Derivative U Visa Applicants 

If you have a pending application for adjustment of status for U visa, i.e. Form I-485 application, your family including your spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents may also apply for permanent residence in the U.S. as long as they fulfill the following criteria: 

  • None of the family members held a U visa to enter the United States; and
  • The U-1 principal applicant or the family member will be subject to hardship if the family member is not allowed to enter or remain in the United States.

Get Legal Assistance 

You can also consult with an immigration lawyer or an accredited representative of a recognized organization such as Sidman Law Group to help you apply for a U visa holder change of status and obtain permanent resident status in the United States. Our seasoned attorneys will evaluate your case and provide you with expert legal guidance throughout your application procedure. To get in touch, call us at 818-981-0352 or fill out our online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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