Substantial Physical or Mental Abuse

March 12, 2018



One requirement of the U Visa is that you must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse because you were a victim of a qualifying criminal activity. You should note that the abuse you suffered does not have to be physical, but can also be mental and emotional.


According to 8 CFR § 214.14 (b)(1), USCIS will consider the following factors in determining whether the abuse was substantial:


  • The nature of the injury inflicted or suffered;

  • The severity of the perpetrator's conduct;

  • The severity of the harm suffered;

  • The duration of the infliction of the harm; and

  • The extent to which there is permanent or serious harm to the appearance, health, or physical or mental soundness of the victim, including aggravation of pre-existing conditions.


8 CFR § 214.14 (b)(1) further states that no single factor is a prerequisite to establish that the abuse suffered was substantial. Thus, USCIS will look at the various circumstances that led up to the abuse. Furthermore, several incidents can be taken together even though no single act alone equates to substantial abuse. It is your responsibility, through help of legal counsel, to supply evidence that you suffered substantial abuse.




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No Legal Advice is Intended: This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.



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