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Can a U-Visa Lead to Permanent Residence in the US?

Can a U-Visa Lead to Permanent Residence in the US?

PUBLISHED ON: July 11

A U-Visa is given to individuals who have been the victims of certain abuses or crimes. In order to be eligible for a U-Visa, the individual must also be willing to help the police in the investigation into the harm that they suffered. Additionally, their help must be necessary in order for the police to succeed in their investigation and have it result in prosecution of the offender. U-Visas are generally issued for a period of four years, during which time you are allowed to remain in the United States without fear of deportation. If you have a U-visa, you may be wondering if it is a dead end, or if there is any way to remain in the United States permanently, even after the investigation by authorities has concluded. The good news is that in many cases there is, but you will want to contact an experienced Chicago U-Visa lawyer as soon as possible. We will explain more of the eligibility criteria here. 

Becoming a Permanent Resident After Receiving a U-Visa

If you are in the United States on a U-visa and wish to remain here as a permanent resident, timing is everything. It is absolutely possible to gain permanent residency status and obtain a green card while here on a U-visa, however, certain eligibility criteria must be met. 

  • First, you must have already been in the United States continuously for at least three years. 
  • Second, you must have been helpful and cooperative with police or other authorities who are looking into the crime that you are the victim of. 
  • Third, your continued presence in the United States must be justified. 

For instance, if the person who caused you harm has already been prosecuted and the case is closed, it may be hard to justify that your presence is still required in the United States beyond the expiration of your U-Visa. Likewise, if you have refused to assist the police unreasonably, it will also be hard to justify you remaining in the country beyond your visa. However, there may still be grounds on which to argue that you should stay. You may be able to argue that you should be allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds, or because the rest of your family is here, and deporting you would result in breaking up your family. Because this can be highly specific to your own situation, it is best to talk to an experienced immigration lawyer to get an idea of what your options are and what actions it is best to take. 

Schedule a Consultation with the Sverdloff Law Group

If you are currently in the United States on a U-Visa and you wish to gain permanent resident status so that you can remain in the United States and start (or continue) a life here even beyond the expiration of your visa, the experienced immigration attorneys at Chicago, Illinois’ Sverdloff Law Firm are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation

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