Do I Need To File A Police Report To Apply For A U Visa?

By Published On: January 21, 2023Categories: Vlog, Immigration

”El Show Sin Fronteras”

Spanish Video Above Translated In English Below

Many immigrants choose not to speak out about their struggles in their new country for various reasons. They struggle with language barriers, lack of legal immigration status, or fear of persecution. Being in a foreign country, they must learn the laws and legal documents to identify themselves.

As a result, they often become victims of violent crimes, theft, and assault. However, there is a means for affected individuals to receive justice and potentially gain legal status – through applying for a U Visa.

We will help you understand the U Visa. Learn why reporting to the authorities is essential when experiencing abuse and how a U Visa can benefit them.

The U Visa Is A Humanitarian Program For People Who Have Been Victims Of Crime In The U.S.

What Is The U Visa?

The U Visa has been in existence for over 15 years. Congress established this to encourage undocumented individuals to collaborate with law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations. Under this program, victims of crimes who assist the police or prosecutors can receive immigration benefits.

One of the advantages of the U Visa is that it includes a Work Permit for the victim and their immediate family members. This includes their spouse, siblings, and parents under 21 years old.

This provision ensures that an entire family can benefit from the program if one member has suffered a crime. With a four-year Work Permit, the U Visa offers hope amidst difficult circumstances.

Moreover, the U Visa provides a pathway to permanent residency and, eventually, citizenship for all eligible family members. This means it can change something horrible for the family into something good – a way to fix everyone’s future.

Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is an experienced advocate in this field. They make the U Visa accessible to many individuals who are not fluent in the local language. Especially those who need proper identification documents to navigate a foreign country’s legal system.

These fears, rooted in concerns about immigration and other related issues, often force victims to remain silent. Even in the face of crimes, they have suffered. However, Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can help them address these barriers and widen the horizon of opportunities for those in need.

What Crimes Apply To The U Visa?

The U Visa encompasses many crimes that may qualify individuals for its benefits. The list of qualifying crimes includes more than twenty offenses. However, it is possible to make a case for other similar crimes.

Among the crimes include violent offenses such as domestic violence and certain forms of assault (e.g., those involving intoxicated individuals). It also includes assault with a weapon, kidnapping, extortion, fraud, trafficking, and various sex crimes.

The list is extensive and worth exploring. The Lincoln-Goldfinch Law handled more than 50 percent of the cases involving crimes beyond the list.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a crime, it is best to investigate the case’s eligibility. You can contact the firm to schedule an interview with their knowledgeable attorneys. They can assess the circumstances and determine if the incident qualifies for the U Visa benefits.

The road to recovery can be difficult and overwhelming for those who have been victims of domestic abuse. Remember that there may be alternative avenues to consider, such as VAWA. The team can guide you in exploring all available options.

What Is The Difference Between U Visa & VAWA?

Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, is relevant to individuals who have faced abuse. This usually applies to victims of criminal activities from a partner who is a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the United States. Commonly misinterpreted as a law tailored only to women, it protects all genders.

Under VAWA, victims can apply for permanent residency, letting their abusers know it. They can also petition for their partner’s lawful status despite the abuser’s history of abuse. Notably, the absence of a police report is not a barrier to the application.

On the other hand, the U Visa is effective when reporting domestic abuse is accompanied by a police report. In situations where both the victim and the abuser are undocumented, the U Visa can offer hope.

The U Visa further protects individuals who have undergone forced labor or human trafficking. Individuals can qualify for the U Visa even if there is no relationship between the victim and the abuser.

Although both VAWA and the U Visa target domestic violence survivors, their eligibility criteria vary based on various factors. This includes the status of the abuser, the presence of a police report, and many more. 

Does U Visa Have Limitations In Labor-Related Issues?

The U Visa covers crimes beyond domestic violence, such as forced labor and human trafficking. While sexual exploitation is often associated with the U Visa, it also supports victims of non-sexual labor oppression.

However, the U Visa is not typically applicable when individuals don’t get the proper pay for contracted work. In some situations, pursuing an immigration case may not be the most successful route.

In these instances, Lincoln-Goldfinch Law provides guidance and may suggest alternative options. They can connect individuals with other organizations or lawyers practicing in areas of law like employment law. 

Lawyers also encourage the victims to report the crime to law enforcement.

Do You Need To File A Police Report For A U Visa?

When talking about a U Visa case, it’s crucial to report the crime to the police as the first step in the process. This is because the U Visa application requires ordering a police report. It’s vital to request a certification affirming that the applicant was a victim of the crime and is helpful in the investigation.

Not only must they file a report, but staying in contact with the detectives is also essential. The victim’s cooperation is necessary to be eligible for the U Visa.

However, for undocumented individuals, a common fear is that reporting the crime puts them in harm’s way. In Austin, Texas, the police have a policy in place. It prohibits them from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status if it’s irrelevant or unnecessary for the investigation.

This policy also ensures that undocumented victims of crimes feel comfortable and can confidently report without fear of being at risk.

Reporting a crime, specifically for U Visa cases, is an imperative step that can lead to eligibility for immigration relief. The safety and protection of all victims, including minors, are valued and essential in Austin’s police force.

Can Minors Who Are Victims Of Online Harassment Apply For U Visa?

When a minor has experienced sexual harassment online, it’s not always necessary for them to personally report the incident. They can choose not to engage directly with law enforcement officers.

Find Legal Advice With A U Visa Lawyer And Benefit From The Crime You Were Victim Of To Get U.S. Papers

There are alternative avenues that Lincoln-Goldfinch Law uses as they recognize the emotional strain this could impose on the child. In these cases, parents or legal guardians can step forward. They take on the responsibility of communicating with the police on behalf of the minor.

By involving parents in the communication process, authorities can effectively gather the necessary information and evidence to address the issue. Including the entire family in the U Visa case addresses the impact of the harassment on the minor effectively.

The eligibility for a U Visa extends beyond the immediate family members. In cases where the minor is under eight, their younger siblings are also eligible for the U Visa application.

In cases of spousal assault, survivors often wonder which Visa they can apply for to seek safety and protection. The options depend on the abuser’s immigration status and the survivor’s eligibility. 

What Visa Can I Apply If I’m A Victim Of Spousal Assault?

If the abuser holds a permanent residence or has vague citizenship status, the VAWA petition may be the preferred choice. This option offers several advantages, including the fact that it does not necessarily require police cooperation or certification.

Additionally, the waiting time for VAWA Visas is comparatively shorter when compared to other Visa types. However, if the abuser is undocumented, the survivor’s primary and often sole option is the U Visa. This Visa category aims to protect victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence.

Understanding the requirements and seeking legal guidance can significantly increase the chances of obtaining a U Visa.

How Long Do I Have To Wait To Obtain A U Visa?

One of the drawbacks of the U Visa is the existence of a waiting list due to an annual cap of ten thousand Visas. Because of this, there is a long waiting list for the U Visa.

However, the immigration service is trying to review pending cases and give Work Permits to those on the waiting list. It can take years for the first response from immigration, but it’s best to start immediately to get on the list.

Can I Keep My Case Confidential When Seeking Legal Assistance?

Understandably, individuals may hesitate to share personal and delicate information about their circumstances. However, Lincoln-Goldfinch Law emphasizes that any information transmitted to the firm is confidential.

You can rest assured that your lawyer will respect your privacy, enabling you to discuss your experiences and seek guidance openly. Contact Lincoln-Goldfinch Law for legal assistance if you experienced a crime and may be eligible for a U Visa.


The U Visa is a lifeline for undocumented individuals who have fallen victim to crimes. It allows them to seek justice, protection, and a path to permanent residency and citizenship.

Individuals can confidently navigate this complex process by understanding the benefits of the U Visa and its eligibility criteria. Additionally, knowing the importance of reporting crimes can further empower individuals to seek a U Visa.

If you have additional questions about the U Visa, police reports, or your specific case, you may contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a brief 10-minute evaluation of your case over the phone, we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you don’t miss our weekly broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as greencards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job. After the pandemic we began offering bankruptcy services in addition to immigration I realized how much lack of information there is in financial literacy resources in Spanish.

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