The U.S. government has once again issued the maximum number of U-1 nonimmigrant visas (10,000). This is the fifth year in a row that these visas benefitting victims of abuse have reached the maximum number allowable under the law. The visas are good for four years but can be extended. The U 1 visa holder can still apply for permanent residency through a green card application.
The U-1 nonimmigrant visas were created in 2008 for victims of certain crimes who have “suffered substantial mental or physical abuse” and are willing to help authorities prosecute the perpetrator(s) of the crime. The U visas were meant as a benefit to female immigrants suffering from domestic abuse, human trafficking or sexual assault.
Immigrant victims of abuse will have to wait until October 1, 2014 to apply for the next round of 10,000 visas available.