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September 14, 2011

FAQ: If I am the victim of a qualifying crime, can my family members apply for U visas with me?

Depending on the victim’s age at the time of filing the U visa application, certain members of the victim’s family are allowed to apply for a U visa along with their qualifying family member. A victim who is under the age of 21 is allowed to petition his or her parents, spouse, children, and unmarried siblings under the age of 18. For example, one of our U visa clients was accused of a hate crime at his middle school. Without investigation, he was expelled from school and detained by the police. Nevertheless, the authorities finally discovered the real criminals and our client was proven innocent. This middle schooler was able to apply for a U visa based on being the victim of a false arrest and false accusation of a hate crime. He was able to include in his application U visa requests for his mother, father, and two younger siblings, allowing his entire family to gain legal status. However, if the victim is over the age of 21, the number of dependents allowed to apply decreases. A victim over 21 can apply for his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. One example of this is a client of ours who was the victim of armed robbery at a restaurant. She applied for a U visa not only for herself, but also for her husband and two children in high school. In sum, the process of applying for dependents in U visa cases is incredibly beneficial for families because it allows them to remain together in the United States without fear of reporting crimes to the police.
Emily Hogan
Special Case Manager
Mario Ramos PLLC

Posted by VisaLawyer at September 14, 2011 07:27 AM

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