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December 24, 2011

X-Mas and Happy New Year

As this year comes to an end I wish all the best to our friends and supporters. We will celebrate the end of this year to begin the struggle for immigration reform anew this coming year.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2011

FAQ; Having trouble getting U visa certifications?

Answer; suggestions on how to obtain the certifying signature; the most elusive and the most precious;

Getting the U visa certification is definitely the most difficult part of the U visa application process, and with more applications being submitted each year, our office has had its fair share of interesting certification experiences obtaining certification from police officers, judges, and district attorneys and other parties. For example, we had one client who wanted to apply for a U visa after he had suffered a minor assault by a former paramour. In a surprise to the entire staff, he walked into our office a mere three days after his initial consultation carrying a signed certification form. In another instance, we had (read: still have) a client who was physically and emotionally abused for many years and ultimately was the victim of attempted murder by her husband who died at the crime scene. She suffered a permanent debilitating injury as a result of the attack, but due to a fluke in the police department’s own certification regulations, they denied our client the signature. The police say that since she ‘cannot be helpful in any future investigation,’ she does not qualify for the U visa. For around 8 months now, we have been desperately attempting to acquire it for this client, but to no avail. Other times, we send requests to individuals 3 or 4 times, make follow-up phone calls, speak with their superiors, yet never heard a word from them.
Yes, we know what you’re thinking. “WHAT?” The thought process of individual certifiers when choosing to sign or not sign the form is a mystery. However, we have found a few helpful strategies through our struggles that we will share with you. First, we always always always try to send a thank-you card to the individual who certified a case. We tell the police officer, judge, or district attorney how much we and our client appreciate the opportunity they have given the victim. We tell them ’God bless you.’ We let them know their review and signature has been truly appreciated by our client and our office. Second, we maintain records of the certifying police officers, judges, and district attorneys. If a client’s case went to court, we send it directly to one person in the DA’s office, every time. It’s not perfect, but now we have a better idea of who understands the certification form and is willing to take the time to consider individual victim’s cases. Third, we keep our requests simple. If we are requesting certification from a judge or police officer, we show them exactly where they signed the police or court document. We always include the handy “U Visa Quick Reference Guide for Law Enforcement” [which can be found beginning on page 12 of the online document – link at bottom of post] that explains in 2 pages the basic idea of the U visa and the role the certification plays in the process. We do not show them superfluous documents that take extra time to read. We have found this to be very effective, since a certifying official only needs 5 minutes to review a short packet and fill out the form. Finally, if we mail a request for certification to an individual, we always include a stamped and addressed return envelope, making the certification process as simple as possible for the certifier.

Yes, we know what you’re thinking. “WHAT?” The thought process of individual certifiers when choosing to sign or not sign the form is a mystery. However, we have found a few helpful strategies through our struggles that we will share with you. First, we always always always try to send a thank-you card to the individual who certified a case. We tell that policeman, judge, or district attorney how much we and our client appreciate the opportunity he or she has given the victim. We tell them ’God bless you.’ We let them know they did the right thing by attaching their signature to a three page document they will never see or hear about again. Second, we maintain records of the police officers, judges, and district attorneys who do care about immigrant victims and who are willing to certify. If a client’s case went to court, we send it directly to one person in the DA’s office, every time. It’s not perfect, but now we have a better idea of who in our city understands the certification form and is willing to take the time to consider individual victim’s cases. Third, we keep our requests simple. If we are requesting certification from a judge or police officer, we show them exactly where they signed the police or court document. We always include the handy “U Visa Quick Reference Guide for Law Enforcement” [which can be found beginning on page 12 of the online document – link at bottom of post] that explains in 2 pages the basic idea of the U visa and the role the certification plays in the process. We do not show them superfluous documents that take extra time to read. We have found this to be very effective, since a certifying official only needs 5 minutes to review a short packet and fill out the form. Finally, if we mail a request for certification to an individual, we always include a stamped and addressed return envelope, making the certification process as simple as possible for the certifier.

Emily Hogan
Special Case Manager

http://iwp.legalmomentum.org/reference/additional-materials/immigration/u-visa/tools/police-prosecutors

Posted by VisaLawyer at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)