ASISTA

U Visa

Overview

  Winning U Visas after the Regulations
2008 Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group. Reprinted with permission; all rights reserved
  USCIS Fact Sheet on Certifying U Nonimmigrant Status
This fact sheet offers basic information as to who may be eligible for a U Visa, and under what circumstances.
  Winning U Visas: Getting the Law Enforcement Certification (Feb. 2008)
The second in a series on how to win U visa cases, with an enfasis in the law's requirements as well as building a relationship with law enforcement. 2009 Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group. Reprinted with permission; all rights reserved
  Overcoming Inadmissibility for U Visa Applicants
Article by Gail Pendleton on the new standard for the waiver, as well as potential strategies for U visa applications.
  Number of Approvals, Denials and Receipts of U and T Visas
Service-wide Receipts, Approvals, and Denials from 2009 to 2011 for U Visas, and from 2002 to 2011 for T Visas.
  Building Collaborations to Help Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
Webinar presented by ASISTA Co-Director Gail Pendleton with the National Family Justice Center Alliance. This webinar discusses updates on the U Visa process and means to collaborate to assist victims who apply. (February 2013)
 

Legislation and Statutes

  Wilberforce Amendments
Wilberforce Amendment on Bona Fide Work Authorization
 

Regulations

  Challenging violations of confidentiality and prohibitions against using information from abusers/perpetrators
This document details confidentiality provisions according to the DHS, as well as contact information to report a violation of VAWA confidentiality.
  California Aggravated and Felonious Assault Statutes
California Aggravated and Felonious Assault Statutes
  Aggravated and Felonious Assault Statutes
Other states aggravated and felonious assault statutes
 

Memos and Agency Decisions

 

 

  Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny (June 3, 2013)
The purpose of this policy memorandum (PM) is to clarify the role of Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) in the adjudication of petitions, applications, and other requests. It revises Chapter 10.5(a) of the Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) - AFM Update AD12-04.
  Civil Immigration Enforcement: Guidance on the Use of Detainers in the Federal, State, Local and Tribal Criminal Justice Systems (December 21, 2012)
This memorandum provides guidance on the use of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers in the federal, state, local, and tribal criminal justice systems. This guidance applies to all uses of ICE detainers regardless of whether the contemplated use arises out ofthe Criminal Alien Program, Secure Communities, a 287(g) agreement, or any other ICE enforcement effort. This guidance does not govern the use ofdetainers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This guidance replaces Sections 4.2 and 4.5 of the August 2010 Interim Guidance on Detainers (Policy Number 10074.1) and otherwise supplements the remaining sections of that same guidance.
  USCIS Policy Memorandum: Age-Out Protections for Derivative U Nonimmigrant Status Holders: Petitions, Initial Approvals and Extensions of Status (December 12, 2012)
This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance relating to certain U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions that are being held for final adjudication or have had their prior approvals limited in time due to the derivative aging-out. This PM also authorizes the approval of U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions for the full eligibility period of four years, allowing the U-3 derivative to remain in U nonimmigrant status past his or her 21st birthday, if necessary. This PM updates the Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) by adding Chapter 39.1(f)(4)(v-viii); AFM Update AD11-41.
  9 FAM
Field Adjudicator's Manual for Department of State with information on U Visas.
  Prosecutorial Discretion for Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs (June 17, 2011)
Absent special circumstances or aggravating factors, it is against ICE policy to initiate removal proceedings against an individual known to be the immediate victim or witness to a crime.
  Extension U and T visa 3(Mar. 8, 2011)
This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance about extensions of status for T and U nonimmigrants, including any related applications for adjustment of status. 3/2011
  William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008: Changes to T and U Nonimmigrant Status and Adjustment of Status Provisions (July 21, 2010)
Memo regarding changes in U Visa eligibility requirements, adjustment of status, and assistance in investigations or prosecutions.
  Policy Memo RE: Extension of U Nonimmigrant Status for Derivative Family Members Using the Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539) (June 22, 2010)
Memo regarding extension of status for U Derivatives dated 6/22/10. This memo allows for extension of status due to consular processing delays, and for other reasons as well.
  Department of Labor to Certify U Visas (March 15, 2010)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations (8 C.F.R. 214.4(a)(2)) expressly list certain federal law enforcement agencies that may certify U Visa applications, in the hopes that DOL investigators may detect more information on workplace criminal activity.
  Guidance Regarding U Visa Applicants in Removal Proceedings or with Final Orders of Deportation or Removal (Sept. 25, 2009)
Memorandum to OPLA Attorneys, dated 9/25/2009, regarding U Visa applicants with final orders or who are in proceedings.
  Guidance: Adjudicating Stay Requests Filed by U Visa Applicants (Sept. 24, 2009)
Guidance to ICE Field Officers dated 9/24/2009 about factors to consider when adjudicating requests for a Stay of a final administrative order filed by a U Visa applicant.
  USCIS Update for Processing Petitions for Nonimmigrant Victims of Criminal Activity (April 10, 2008)
This memo serves to make clarifications in the interim relief period for those seeking the U visa, and notes that there is no deadline for filing the Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-192).
  CIS Policy Memorandum RE: Amendments to FAM (Mar. 27, 2008)
Memo Propagated March 27, 2008 with Amendments to FAM, including fix to regulations on Aged-out derivatives
  DOJ and INS memo on Unlawful Presence and Authorized Periods of Stay (June 12, 2002)
This memo provides a list of situations in which a person would qualify for an authorized period of stay, temporary protected status (TPS), or deferred enforced departure (DED).
  Interim USCIS Memoranda Implementing VAWA 2013 Provisions
This policy memorandum provides guidance on new legislation that amends the Immigration and Nationality Act affecting U nonimmigrant status programs and related adjustment of status applications.
  Group Comment on USCIS VAWA 2013 Guidance
This comment was submitted by 32 national, state, and local organizations in response to USCIS Guidance implementing U visa provisions of VAWA 2013.
  AAO reverses VSC workplace-based U visa denials.
AAO decisions finding substantial harm from witness tampering, and remanding to the VSC - #1, Dec 2014
  AAO reverses VSC workplace-based U visa denials.
AAO decisions finding substantial harm from witness tampering, and remanding to the VSC - #2, Dec 2014
  AAO reverses VSC workplace-based U visa denials.
AAO decisions finding substantial harm from witness tampering, and remanding to the VSC - #3, Dec 2014
  AAO reverses VSC workplace-based U visa denials.
AAO decisions finding substantial harm from witness tampering, and remanding to the VSC - #4, Jan 2015
 

Case Law

  Matter of Yauri
Oct. 28, 2009 decision stating: USCIS has exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate applications for adjustment of status; the BIA generally lacks authority to reopen proceedings under final orders of exclusion, deportation or removal; and the Board will not generally exercise its discretion to reopen proceedings sua sponte for an arriving alien to pursue adjustment of status.
  Matter of Sanchez-Sosa
This case sets criteria for immigration judges considering continuances for U applicants in proceedings. See ICE memoranda for procedure for requesting prima facie determinations from VSC.
  Perez v. Seafood Peddler
The district court order in this non-precedent case prohibited the defendants from asking about the immigration status of a witness or any other person. The court reasoned that allowing such questions would have a "chilling effect" on an individual seeking to prosecute their rights. Further, the Court prohibited inquiry, during the discovery process, regarding the U visa process and whether any person involved in this case has filed a U Visa petition. Moreover, the court adopted the plaintiff's position that 8 U.S.C. 1367 prohibited disclosure of any information relating to the U visa.
 

Filing a U Visa Case

  U Visa forms and instructions
Link to USCIS form and instructions for U Visas.
  Basic Cover Letter Sample
ASISTA staff put together a basic cover letter sample to include with your U-Visa petition. You'll also notice an area in the cover letter to include relevant legal arguments if you are petitioning for an I-192 waiver.
  Basic Cover Letter - Index
In conjunction with the basic cover letter above, ASISTA staff put together a basic document index template.
 

Resources for Working with Clients

This site contains materials for representation for your client, as well as information for the client.

 

  Corrections and Clarifications to Police Report(s)
This form is an opportunity for applicants to correct and/ or clarify a police report. This form would be especially important for cases where a language barrier created misunderstanding or false assumptions.
  Checklist of Necessary Documents for U Visa Applicant
This checklist gives the client information on what forms, records, and information the client might need for their U Visa application.
  Presentaci n por USCIS en c mo navegar el sitio web. En Espa ol!
Esta presentaci n explica paso a paso c mo navegar el sitio web para ver el estatus de su caso.
  Practice Advisory for U visa Conditional Approvals
This practice advisory contains tips to help conditionally approved U visa holders who are waitlisted due to the U visa cap restrictions and covers issues concerning employment authorization as well as strategies for requesting humanitarian parole.
 

Working with Law Enforcement

  Winning U Visas: Getting the Law Enforcement Certification (Feb. 2008)
The second in a series on how to win U visa cases, with an enfasis in the law's requirements as well as building a relationship with law enforcement. 2009 Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group. Reprinted with permission; all rights reserved
  DHS U Visa Certification Guide
This guide contains FAQs about U Visas, instructions on how to fill out the form, as well as offers other forms of relief for victims and survivors.
  Training Law Enforcement Agencies on U Visa Certification
This webinar recorded by the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) and co-sponsored by ASISTA features Co-Directors Gail Pendleton and Sonia Parras discussing best practices and creative ways to reach out to, train and work with law enforcement agencies on U visa certifications.
  Resource List: Working More Effectively with Law Enforcement to Obtain U visa Certifications
Please find attached the results of a joint effort by the AILA VAWA-U-T Committee and ASISTA, Resource List: Working More Effectively with Law Enforcement to Obtain U visa Certifications. We created this list to help you in your advocacy efforts to obtain U visa certs. We hope to update the list annually, so please keep doing great work out there and be ready next year to share the stellar new policies and/or advisories you’ve helped to create. Special thanks to the AILA VAWA, U, and T Committee and ASISTA.
 

Q & A from CIS

  VSC Teleconference Notes and Practice Pointers Fall 2012
Levin & Parras, VSC Stakeholder Notes and Practice Pointers Fall 2012 at 9-10 2012 ASISTA Immigration Assistance. Reprinted with permission, all rights reserved.
  Key Points from CIS Ombudgal Call, September 12, 2011
These notes on the CIS Q&A call also contain specific questions on forms I-539, i_192, and I-193.
  Teleconference Recap and Q & A (June 20, 2011)
This USCIS Q & A answers questions about processing and filing U visas, as well as offers information pertinent to potential U visa holders.
  Advance Questions/Discussion Topics for VSC Meeting August 20, 2009
Q & A Session with the Vermont Service Center of USCIS in August 2009.
  Advance Questions/Discussion Topics for VSC Meeting (Aug. 20, 2009)
Q & A on various U Visa topics, including information on derivatives, VAWA, passport issues, public benefits, and more.
  CIS Q & A on T and U Visas from June 2009
Q & A with CIS on T and U Visas from June 2009
  VSC Brochure (October 2013)
VSC Brochure distributed at the VSC Stakeholder Event on October 18, 2013
  VSC Update (October 2013)
VSC update on new and ongoing activities.
  VSC RFE Final Report (October 2013)
The AILA VAWA Committee and ASISTA created the RFE Project to identify significant evidentiary problems. This is the resulting report.
  VSC Stakeholder Event, October 2013
Notes and Practice Pointers from VSC Stakeholder Event on October 18, 2013
  U visa Cap Advisory and Notes from VSC Stakeholder Teleconference December 12, 2013
These notes include important information, especially regarding USCIS reaching the U visa cap and other updates and changes. Please check back to the ASISTA website for changes and updates.
 

Cases in Proceedings

  Joint Motion to Terminate Proceedings for U Visa
This is an example of a U Visa Joint Motion to Terminate Proceedings.
 

Adjustment of Status

 

Derivatives

  Derivative Chart
U Derivatives This chart summarizes situations to consider when working with principals with children. Principal U applicants may file derivative applications for their spouses, unmarried children under 21 and, if the applicant is under 21, for parents and unmarried siblings, INA 101(a)(15)(U)(ii), by filing form I-918A.
  USCIS Policy Memorandum: Age-Out Protections for Derivative U Nonimmigrant Status Holders: Petitions, Initial Approvals and Extensions of Status
This policy memorandum (PM) provides guidance relating to certain U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions that are being held for final adjudication or have had their prior approvals limited in time due to the derivative aging-out. This PM also authorizes the approval of U-3 derivative nonimmigrant petitions for the full eligibility period of four years, allowing the U-3 derivative to remain in U nonimmigrant status past his or her 21st birthday, if necessary. This PM updates the Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) by adding Chapter 39.1(f)(4)(v-viii); AFM Update AD11-41.
  Sample Parole Cover letters for Derivatives of U Conditional Approvals
Sample Parole Cover letters for Derivatives of U conditional approvals, written by Nora Phillips, of the firm Phillips & Urias in Los Angeles, California. Posted with permission from the author.
 

Resisting Subpoenas related to U Visa applications

  UNDERSTANDING AND RESPONDING TO SUBPOENAS: A GUIDE FOR IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING UVISA APPLICANTS
Developed by Stanford Law School's Immigrants' Rights Clinic, in collaboration with Bay Area Legal Aid.
  Sample Motion To Quash
Developed by Stanford Law School's Immigrants' Rights Clinic, in collaboration with Bay Area Legal Aid
 

Privacy

  Non-Disclosure and Other Prohibitions Relating to Battered Aliens: 384
This first INS memo on the special confidentiality provisions and protections against using information from abusers remains the best government document on this issue. Read along with 8 USC 1367 and other documents in this section.
  8 USC 1367
Link to the Government Printing Office page with 8 USC 1367 relating to penalties for disclosure of information relating to battered or abused immigrants as well as use of information obtained from batterers and their families.
  Perez v. Seafood Peddler
The district court order in this non-precedent case prohibited the defendants from asking about the immigration status of a witness or any other person. The court reasoned that allowing such questions would have a "chilling effect" on an individual seeking to prosecute their rights. Further, the Court prohibited inquiry, during the discovery process, regarding the U visa process and whether any person involved in this case has filed a U Visa petition. Moreover, the court adopted the plaintiff's position that 8 U.S.C. 1367 prohibited disclosure of any information relating to the U visa.
 

Processing U Visas Abroad

  Foreign Affairs Manual on U Visas
9 FAM on U Visas
  Advanced Issues on U Visa Consular Processing
Information and strategies for how to address issues when presenting U visas for processing abroad. Click here for the PowerPoint presentation. (Webinar presented on February 20, 2013)
 

U Visas in the Employment Context

  Creative Strategies for Outreaching and Working Effectively with Immigrant Survivors of Sexual Violence in the Workplace (Part I)
In light of immigration enforcement and the economic climate, now more than ever, immigrant women are vulnerable to experiencing sexual violence in the workplace. Across the country, immigrant-working women with and without work authorization are subjected to adverse working conditions and victimization at alarming rates. ASISTA, in collaboration with Futures Without Violence, Giselle Hass, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and William Tamayo, Regional Attorney for the San Francisco Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is offering a two-part webinar. Part I and Part II of this webinar will provide information and strategies for advocates to use in their work to combat sexual violence in the workplace and assist survivors. PART I During the first 1.5-hour session presenters focus on creative community organizing, screening and outreach strategies to identify survivors. This webinar also introduces basic legal remedies available. (June 24, 2013)
  Effectively Framing a U Visa Labor-Based Application
Gail Pendleton of ASISTA and Eunice Cho of the National Employment Law Project discuss best practices in framing U cases arising in the workplace, including: framing the qualifying crime, obtaining helpful certifications, identifying and presenting substantial harm and inadmissibility waiver arguments; and organizing your application to achieve success. The presenters also discuss strategies for responding to requests for evidence and tackling emerging legal and policy issues arising in this dynamic area of practice. (June 17, 2013)
  Letter to USCIS on Substantial Abuse Determination for Workplace U Visas
This letter is the result of collaboration between NELP, Dr. Giselle Hass, and ASISTA, to develop a framework for USCIS and advocates to identify factors of substantial abuse in workplace cases. The framework builds on theories of abuse suffered by immigrant survivors in cases of domestic and sexual abuse, which form the bulk of cases currently granted U visas. (April 2013)
  The U Visa: A Potential Immigration Remedy for Immigrant Workers Facing Labor Abuse
Prepared by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) in 2011.
 
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