In order to be eligible for U status you must demonstrate that:
- you are a victim of a qualify crime;
- you have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of qualifying criminal activity;
- possess credible and reliable information about the qualifying criminal activity;
- you have been helpful, are being helpful, or are likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity;
- since the initial cooperation, you have not refused or failed to provide information and assistance reasonably requested; and,
- the qualifying criminal activity occurred in the United States or in U.S. territories, possessions or a reservation. This includes extraditable federal crimes outside the U.S.
We first apply for certification from the agency that you were helpful to and then file for the U status. After 3 years in U status, you can apply for your green card.
Please note the current wait time for U processing is 4 -7 years. Once your petition is processed, if a visa is not available for you at the time, you will be placed on a waitlist, which is usually about 2 years. During that wait you can apply for deferred action and a work permit.