Victim Based Immigration

Many immigrants are afraid to report to law enforcement that that have been a victim of a crime because they believe they will be contribute to their removal (deportation) from the United States.  However, U.S. law provides several protections for documented and undocumented immigrants who have been victims of a crime. There are specific protections for victims of domestic violence, victims of certain crimes, and victims of human trafficking.

Donelan Law represents immigrants in the following areas:
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitioners
Some immigrants are afraid to report acts of domestic violence or seek assistance when their immigration status is tied to the abuser.

Victims of domestic violence who are the child, parent, or current/former spouse of a United States citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder) and are abused by the citizen or permanent resident may be eligible to apply for a green card themselves without needing the abuser to file for immigration benefits on their behalf.
VAWA self-petitioners must establish that they:
  • Have or had a qualifying relationship with the abuser spouse, or, are that they are the parent or child of the abuser,
  • Reside or resided with the abuser,
  • Have good moral character, and
  • Have been victims of battery or extreme cruelty.

U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa)
U nonimmigrant status (or U visa) offers immigration protection for certain crime victims.  Victims are not required to be in legal immigration status and qualifying family members of a victim may also be eligible to apply for benefits. 
Victims qualifying for U Visas must:
  • Be a victim of qualifying criminal activity and have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime,
  • Possess credible and reliable information about the qualifying criminal activity,
  • Be, have been, or are likely to be helpful to the investigation and/or prosecution of that qualifying criminal activity, and
  • Be a victim of criminal activity that violated a U.S. law.

Qualifying crimes for a U nonimmigrant visa include the following:
  • Abduction
  • Abusive Sexual Contact
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extortion
  • False Imprisonment
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Perjury
  • Felonious Assault
  • Hostage Taking
  • Incest
  • Peonage
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Witness Tampering
  • Prostitution
  • Sexual Assault
  • Slave Trade
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Unlawful Criminal Restraint
  • Other Related Crimes

T Nonimmigrant status (T Visa)
The T nonimmigrant status (or T visa) provides immigration protection to victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons who assist law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases. Victims are not required to be in legal immigration status.
Victims qualifying for T visas must:
  • Be a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons,
  • Be physically present in the United States on account of the trafficking,
  • Comply with any reasonable requests for assistance in the investigation or prosecution (or be under the age of 18), and suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States

At Donelan Law, we will listen to you, discuss all your legal options, and fight for you.