The U visa is available to those noncitizens who have suffered physical or mental abuse as a result of being the victim of certain criminal activity. If those individuals possess information about that criminal activity and have been, are being, or will be helpful to Federal, State, or local authorities, those individuals may qualify for U visa status.
The criminal activity has to be one of various enumerated crimes in violation of the laws of the U.S.
Upon a showing of hardship, an applicants’ spouse, children and parents of those U visa applicants under the age of 16 may also receive derivative U status. Applicants for the derivative status must provide certification from a government official that an investigation or prosecution would be harmed without the assistance of the derivative applicant.
The U visa can be granted for four years, and after three years the U visa holder can apply for permanent residence.