Maria and her minor child came in the U.S. without proper immigration documents. Maria found a job working at a restaurant as a waitress. She was robbed by a man with a handgun while closing up the restaurant on a late Friday night. Maria reported this incident to the police. She gave description of the individual, and he was later caught and prosecuted.

Maria and her minor child may be eligible for U visa. The purpose of the U visa gives victims of certain crimes temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for up to 4 years. After three years, U visa holders may apply for lawful permanent residence (green card).

To qualify for a U visa, you must show:

(1)   that you have suffered “substantial physical or mental abuse” as the result of one of the following forms of criminal activity (or “similar” activity) conducted in the US: rape; torture; trafficking; incest; domestic violence; sexual assault; abusive sexual contact; prostitution; sexual exploitation; female genital mutilation; being held hostage; peonage; involuntary servitude; slave trade; kidnapping; abduction; unlawful criminal restraint; false imprisonment; blackmail; extortion; manslaughter; murder; felonious assault; witness tampering; obstruction of justice; perjury; or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes;

(2)   that you possess information concerning the criminal activity;

(3)   that you can provide a certification that states that you are being, have been, or are likely to be helpful to the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity; and

(4)   that the criminal activity violated US law or occurred in the United States.

If Maria can meet the requirements above, then she will be eligible for U visa. She will also be able to include her minor child for U visa eligibility.

If you should have any immigration questions, please feel free to call our attorneys at Gopal & Pedigo, PC at (615) 200-VISA (8472) or (615) 601-1LEY (1539) and by visiting our website at