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USCIS Reaches Milestone: 10,000 U Visas Approved in Fiscal Year 2010

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USCIS has now approved 10,000 petitions for U non-immigrant status (also referred to as the “U visa”) in fiscal year 2010.  The “U visa” is a program that offers immigration protection to victims of crime.  This is the first time since the inception of the program in 2008 that  the allowable maximum limit of 10,000 U visas per fiscal year has been reached.

USCIS will resume issuing U visas on October 1, 2010, the first day of fiscal year 2011. Until then, USCIS will continue to accept new petitions for U visas and will place conditionally approved petitioners on a waiting list. Conditionally approved petitioners and qualifying family members will be able to legally remain in the United States and request work authorization. This protection also applies to conditionally approved petitioners or any qualifying family members who are in removal proceedings or have a final order of removal.

The U visa was created in the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, legislation intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other crimes while, at the same time, offering protection to victims of such crimes. U visas are set aside for victims who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of the criminal activity and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

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Written by MithrasLaw

July 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm

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