Congress created the U visa in order to promote public safety. The U visa grants lawful status and work authorization to a foreign national who was the victim of a crime that occurred in the United States. The person who was victimized must have suffered harm (emotional, physical, and/or financial), possess information about the criminal activity, and must help with the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime. An eligible person may apply for a U visa from inside or outside of the United States. There is no time limit for a qualifying criminal act, so a person may be eligible even if the crime occurred many years ago. A person in U status is eligible to apply for a greencard after 3 years.
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