Is Adjustment Of Status Possible With A U Nonimmigrant Visa?

Embarking on a journey toward getting a permanent resident card in the United States through an Adjustment of Status is a significant decision. If you hold a U Nonimmigrant Visa, you may wonder if obtaining permanent residency with this document is possible.

Here, you will explore the definition and legalities of a U Visa, along with its process and eligibility criteria. You will also learn the significance of a Green Card lawyer in your journey toward permanent residency in the United States.Immigration Attorney Assist You In The Process Of Adjustment Of Status With A U Visa

Are You Eligible For A U Visa?

A U Visa is designed to provide temporary legal status and protection to victims of crimes. Therefore, you may apply for it if you have suffered mental or physical abuse and can help law enforcement in the investigation. You may also do it if you are a victim of a qualifying criminal activity. It includes domestic violence, abduction, felonious assault, and false imprisonment.

For you to obtain this Visa, you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Substantial Physical or Mental Abuse: You should have experienced significant physical or mental abuse resulting from being a victim of criminal activity.
  • Possession of Information: You must possess information about the criminal activity. If you are under 16 or unable to give information due to a disability, a parent or guardian or next friend may provide the necessary details on your behalf.
  • Assistance to Law Enforcement: You cooperate with law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting the crime.
  • Occurrence in the United States: The crime must have happened in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
  • Admissibility Requirement: You need to be admissible to the United States. If you are not, you may apply for a waiver using Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.

Consider these qualifications carefully, as they involve another facet of the law – crime. As you assess these factors, it is equally crucial to understand the process involved in applying for a U Visa.

How To Apply For A U Visa?

To begin applying for a U Nonimmigrant Visa, you must complete and submit Form I-918, the Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status. Additionally, you must provide Form I-918 Supplement B, the U Nonimmigrant Status Certification. With this, you must bear the signature of an authorized official from the certifying law enforcement agency.

This official’s endorsement confirms your past, present, or anticipated cooperation in investigating or prosecuting the relevant case. Moreover, the agency’s certification must assert that you have been helpful, are currently assisting, or are likely to assist in the ongoing legal proceedings.

Moreover, the submission package should include a detailed personal statement outlining the criminal activity in which you were a victim. With this, you must present compelling evidence that establishes compliance with the eligibility requirements. 

If you are outside the United States, the process involves submitting all required forms to the USCIS Vermont Service Center. It may include undergoing fingerprinting at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Upon the approval of your petition, the next step is consular processing. At this stage, you will undergo an interview with a consular officer at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Given that this process centers around you as the victim of abuse or a crime, it’s natural to consider the well-being of your family members. Amidst such a traumatic experience, you may find yourself contemplating the possibility of filing for their protection and support.

Can You File For Your Family?

Your qualifying family members can be eligible for a derivative U Visa with you as the principal petitioner. Your petition must be approved before your family members can be considered eligible. 

As the principal, if you are under 21, you can petition for your spouse and children. You can also do this with your parents and unmarried siblings under 18. However, if you are 21 or older, your petitioning capacity is exclusively extended to your husband or wife and your kids.

To initiate the petition process for a qualified family member, you must submit Form I-918 Supplement A. This is known as the Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient. You can file it concurrently with your application or at a later time.

Once U nonimmigrant status is approved, its validity spans four years. However, extensions are possible in specific, restricted situations. These circumstances may include necessity arising from a request by law enforcement or from exceptional circumstances. It may also be because of the delays in consular processing.

These processes are complex, and the help of a Green Card lawyer can be significant. They can help with getting your documents approved. When you and your family receive the approval of the USCIS for this application, you can enjoy several benefits.

What Are The Benefits Of A U Visa?

Falling victim to abuse or criminal activities can have a lasting impact on your well-being. However, the U Visa created for crime victims offers hope by providing potential benefits upon obtaining it. They include:

  • Temporary legal status that allows you to live and work in the United States.
  • While a U Visa is pending or approved, you generally have protection from deportation.
  • Being able to travel outside the United States and return.
  • After holding a U Visa for three years, you can apply for lawful permanent residency in the United States.

These are some benefits you can enjoy once your application is approved. However, there are even more advantages when it advances to permanent residency through Adjustment of Status. The question then arises: How can you do it?

How To Apply For Adjustment Of Status?

A U Visa offers the potential to acquire a Green Card in the United States. Similar to its requirements, adjusting your status also involves meeting specific criteria. It involves:

  • Physical presence in the United States for at least three years while in U nonimmigrant status.
  • Not unreasonably refusing to assist law enforcement since receiving the U Visa.

You can submit Form I-485 or Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status if you meet the requirements. The USCIS will handle your papers.

Then, you will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment, where USCIS will collect essential data such as fingerprints, a photograph, and your signature. Following this is the interview regarding your eligibility. Here, you must present supporting documents to substantiate your case. The USCIS will then meticulously review your application and subsequently render a decision. Once you receive approval, you will obtain a permanent resident card.

You must note that your qualifying family members without a derivative U Visa lose eligibility for it when you obtain a Green Card. However, they may still be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence.

To include your eligible family members in the U-1 nonimmigrant process, it is necessary to submit a separate Form I-929 for each individual. It is known as a Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Nonimmigrant. You have the flexibility to file the form either concurrently with your Form I-485 or after its submission.

Given the intricacies involved, an immigration lawyer proves invaluable in facilitating the transition from a U Visa to permanent residency. They play a crucial role in relieving you from the daunting task of navigating the complexities inherent in these documents.

Immigration Attorney Share Insights On The Adjustme Of Status Process

Why Enlist The Help Of An Immigration Lawyer?

Enlisting an immigration lawyer during the transition from a U Visa to permanent residence is crucial for a seamless process. Immigration laws are subject to frequent changes, requiring the skills and knowledge of a Visa attorney to navigate successfully.

Immigration attorneys from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can ensure accurate documentation, timely submissions, and compliance with evolving regulations. Working with them can minimize the risk of complications or delays in your application.

Their knowledge of the intricate legal landscape enhances the chances of a successful transition. LGL attorneys can address potential challenges such as eligibility criteria, background checks, and procedural nuances. Ultimately, the assistance of an immigration lawyer adds a layer of professional support.


Transitioning from a U Visa to permanent residency in the United States involves complex legal processes. To apply for a U Visa, victims of crimes must meet criteria such as substantial abuse. You must also possess information about the crime and cooperate with law enforcement.

The application process includes completing forms and providing evidence of eligibility. Your qualified family members can also apply. With these things in mind, engaging an immigration lawyer is invaluable as they smoothen your transition to permanent residency.

Get Help From An U.S Immigration Attorney

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