The startling rise of the U visa

There are so many visas out there that it is tough to summarize and deal with them all on just one blog. We have spoken at length about visas for gifted or highly skilled people, as well as some more basic visas for people from many different countries. We’ve also talked about the laws and regulations that go into these visas, and how those laws are constantly changing.

But today let’s talk about some humanitarian visas and, more specifically, the U visa. This visa is for people who have been subjected to a crime, and they can apply for the visa in this country so that they can live and work here.

In the last five years, U visa applications have been steadily rising, and now they have reached some fairly incredible heights. In 2009, there were only 6,835 such petitions for U visas. For the most recent year of data, 2014, the number of U visa petitions jumped to 26,023. These figures are from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The unfortunate part about the U visas is that their popularity and the general red tape associated with immigration processes means it take a long time for things to come to fruition. For those who have been subjected to a crime, this can be a real problem.

Procedural issues and slow-moving process aren’t easy to fix, and sometimes they don’t even have a “fix.” But if you are experiencing trouble with any visa application, you need to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure things are being handled appropriately.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Safety for immigrant victims put on hold by U-visa delay,” Linthicum, Feb. 1, 2015