Chattanooga Crime Victims Immigration Lawyer
Crime Victims Immigration Lawyers Serving Clients in Chattanooga, Tennessee
There are many different options for immigrating to the United States if you have been the victim of a crime. In fact, there are specific visas designed for people who have experienced violence and been the victims of hate crimes and other types of criminal activity. While many immigrants worry that being honest about their experiences of victimhood can limit their ability to live in or remain in the United States, it is essential to learn about the ways in which crime victims have certain protections under U.S. immigration law. If you need help with a crime victim immigration case, you should seek advice from an experienced Chattanooga crime victims immigration lawyer today.
Types of Visas for Victims of Crimes
There are several different types of visas that may be appropriate for a person who has been the victim of a crime, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Those visas include the following:
- U Nonimmigrant Status visa (U visa);
- T Nonimmigrant Status visa (T visa); or
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitioners for immigration benefits.
U Visas in Chattanooga
U visas provide immigration protection for individuals who have been victims of crime, and they require certification from law enforcement in order for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to grant the benefit of U status. In order to obtain U status, all of the following must be true of the applicant:
- Victim of a qualifying criminal activity, and that criminal activity must be a violation of U.S. law;
- Suffered substantial physical or mental abuse from the criminal act;
- Possesses credible and reliable information about the criminal act; and
- Has been or is likely to be helpful in the criminal investigation or prosecution.
The list of qualifying criminal acts is quite long, but examples include the following:
- Abusive sexual contact;
- Domestic violence;
- Felonious assault;
- Sexual assault;
- Trafficking; or
- Sexual exploitation.
There are numerous other types of criminal activity that can qualify a person for U status if they have been victims of the offense. Applications for U visas require you to file Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status.
T Nonimmigrant Status and T Visas in Chattanooga
T visas, which grant a person T nonimmigrant status, is available to individuals who have been victims of human trafficking. DHS explains that the following must be true for the person to obtain a T visa:
- Be a victim of severe trafficking in persons;
- Be physically present in the United States as a result of the human trafficking;
- Comply with the investigation or prosecution of the trafficking; and
- Suffer extreme hardship if removed from the United States.
Applications for T visas require you to file Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status.
Contact Our Chattanooga Immigration Lawyers for Victims of Crimes
If you need assistance applying for a visa designed specifically for individuals who have been victims of crimes, or seeking other immigration benefits for victims of domestic violence through the VAWA, one of our Chattanooga crime victims immigration lawyers can assist you today. Contact Shirazi Immigration Law, Inc. to learn more.