U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved 10,000 petitions for U nonimmigrant status (also referred to as the “U visa”) in 2010, an important milestone that marks the first time the USCIS has reached the statutory maximum of 10,000 U visas per fiscal year since it began issuing them in 2008. This means that the USCIS has helped the maximum number of immigrants that need help this year.
USCIS will resume issuing U visas on Oct. 1. Until then, USCIS will continue to accept new petitions for U visas and will place conditionally approved petitioners on a waiting list.
The U visa was created by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. Legislation intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes while, at the same time, offering protection to victims of such crimes.
U visas are set aside for victims who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of criminal activity and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. ♦
For more information, visit www.uscis.gov.