The U Visa is a visa for victims of crimes. Law enforcement, prosecutors, judges or government officials can certify a U Visa based on past, present, or future likelihood of the victim being “helpful” in the examination of the criminal activity that the victim witnessed.
”Helpful” means that if the victim of a crime suffered harm and helped in the examination of the crime she was a victim of, she may be eligible for U Visa status. This includes providing assistance when reasonably requested also after the U Visa is granted. If the victim unreasonably refuses to remain helpful to law enforcement after reporting a crime, she will not get lawful permanent residence and may have the visa revoked.
Cooperation with authorities for a U Visa case means that the applicant has previously and will continue to be helpful with said authorities. In addition, it is still considered helpful to merely report the incident even if the applicant does not wish to pursue prosecution or launch an investigation, nor does the crime need to be resolved in order to proceed with the U Visa case.
It is important to note that the person who certifies the U Visa applicant can withdraw their certification if the applicant becomes unhelpful in the future. Furthermore, when the adjustment period begins (which is usually around 3-4 years after the applicant receives their U Visa), the law enforcement agency will need to recertify the applicant’s cooperation.
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