It is necessary that the crime was committed in the United States or in violation of the laws of the United States.
Also, you need to have information of the criminal activity and be willing to give that information to the police, the district attorney, or any of the agencies that we have mentioned.
And you must be willing to cooperate with the investigation or prosecution of the crime, regardless of the outcome of the case. To request a U visa, it is a requirement to have a certification from a law enforcement agency.
This certification declares that you helped, are helping or will help the authorities that investigate or prosecute the criminal activity.
This certification is very important, without it, you cannot be eligible for a U visa, regardless of the crime committed against you. It is also important to note that if the victim of the crime that files for the visa is less than 16 years of age, the certification can say that the father, mother, guardian of next friend has been helpful, is helpful, or is likely to be helpful.
A next friend is generally someone who participates in a legal proceeding to speak on behalf of the victim. But the next friend does not request the U visa status. For example, if my niece, who is 14 years old, was the victim of a qualifying crime, and I participated in the criminal case against the offender, then I can help her to comply with the requirement of helping the authorities so she can qualify for the U visa. However, I will not be able to request a U visa because I do not have a qualifying relationship with her to be considered as an indirect victim. But, if instead of being my niece, it was my 14-year-old daughter, and I help the authorities with her case then it might be possible for me to apply for the U visa as an indirect victim. Because we do have a qualifying relationship, if I can comply with the rest of the requirements for the visa as an indirect victim, then I will need the certification to be in my name.
To obtain the certification, from the moment you start cooperating with authorities, you will have to continue that cooperation without refusing or failing to provide the information and assistance if it is requested in a reasonable manner.
The certification also confirms that you were the victim of one of the qualifying crimes for the U visa and that you have provided or were willing to provide information to them. Generally, it is the police department or the district attorney’s office who signs the certification for a U-visa, but it is not limited to those authorities.
The complete list of who can sign a certification is:
federal, state, or local police agencies,
judges or other authorities responsible for the investigation or prosecution of qualifying criminal activity.
This includes agencies with the authority to investigate criminal activity in their own areas like Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, among others.
If you are involved in a case with one of these agencies that has to do with one of the qualifying crimes, it is possible that the process to get the certification might be different. Generally, the certifications are signed by person in charge of the agency, or a person designated to sign the certifications.
you should look for help from a lawyer who can help you navigate this process. If you cannot find legal help, it is possible that local victim service organization can help you find information on how you can obtain the certification from authorities for your case.
A principal applicant is the person who applies for a U visa.
A derivative refers to certain family members who can also receive legal status through the principal applicant. Because the family member’s status is derived from the principal applicant’s status, the law refers to the family member as a derivative under immigration laws.
Who you can include as derivative family members will depend on their age at the time when the application is filed.
Derivatives do not have to meet all of the eligibility criteria as the principal applicant does. For example, they do not have to prove they have suffered substantial damage of that they are willing to cooperate with the investigation of the prosecution of the crime. However, they do have to prove that they are admissible or that they are eligible for a waiver if they are inadmissible.
As a principal applicant, you can file a petition for your derivative family members when you file for U visa status, or later on.
If you are 21 years of age or older when you file for your U visa, the following family members can qualify for their visa U status as derivatives: your husband or wife and/or your unmarried children who are less than 21 years old.
If you are 21 years of age or younger when you file for your U visa, then the following family members can qualify for U visa status as derivatives: your husband or wife, your unmarried children who are less than 21 years old, your parents, and/or your unmarried siblings who are under age 18.
The age of the principal applicant and derivative family members is determined as of the date in which the application for the U visa is filed. As a principal applicant, you will have to prove that your derivative family member is indeed your family member. Usually, you will provide documents like marriage and birth certificates. Please note that if your family member was the person who committed the crime against you, then she/he will not be eligible for U visa status as a derivative. U visa principal applicants can include derivatives that currently live in the United States or outside of the country. If the application for derivative family members is granted and they live in the US, then they will receive a work permit when they are approved.
If they are outside of the US, they can eventually request to come inti the US with the U visa and apply for a work permit when they are here.
It is possible that this process will take a long time.