Victims of Crime
Victims of certain crimes may be eligible to apply for a U visa. In order to qualify, you must be a victim of a qualifying crime that either occurred in the United States, or is a violation of U.S. law; you must have suffered physical or emotional abuse as a result of that crime; you must have information about the crime and be willing to provide assistance to law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of the crime; and you must be admissible to the U.S. While the list of qualifying crimes is rather lengthy, generally the crime must be violent in nature or involve sexual abuse. You do not have to be physically in the United States to apply for a U visa. If you are outside of the U.S., and you meet the qualifications to apply, you may consular process into the United States.
A U visa is valid for four years, although it may be extended under certain circumstances. If you hold a U visa for at least three years, and you continuously live in the United States for those three years, you may be eligible to apply for a green card, which will grant you permanent residency. If you choose to apply for your green card, the information you provide in your application is protected and kept confidential.
Human Trafficking Victim Visa
Human trafficking is the modern-day form of slavery. It can take the shape of domestic servitude, working in sweatshops, and sex trade, with ongoing exploitation of its victims.
If you are a victim of human trafficking, you may be eligible to apply for a T visa. In order to qualify for a T visa, you must be in the United States, or at a port of entry, as a result of either sex trafficking or labor trafficking; you must cooperate with reasonable requests by law enforcement during the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking; you must demonstrate that you would suffer an extreme hardship involving severe and unusual harm if you were required to leave the United States; and you must be admissible to the United States.
A T visa will allow you to remain in the United States for up to four years, so long as you are cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking offenders. If you hold a T visa for at least three consecutive years, you may be eligible to apply for a green card through the Adjustment of Status process. If you choose to apply for your green card, the information you provide in your application is protected and kept confidential.