A Guide to Obtaining U Visa Certifications Practice Advisory (July 2017)

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has produced a great resource on U visa certification that includes an overview of state U visa laws and pending legislation.  “This practice advisory outlines some suggestions and resources for immigration advocates working with law enforcement agencies to obtain law enforcement certification for U Visa applicants.  It also includes a […]

[pdf] Febuary 2017 Newsletter (+)

In this issue: – DHS Interactive Infographic on Protections for Immigrant Victims – Department of Housing and Urban Development’s VAWA Self-Petitioner Verification Procedures – Upcoming Webinar Training: Immigrant Access to Federally Funded Housing

[pdf] Re: PM-602-0110: VAWA Amendments to the Cuban Adjustment Act: Continued Eligibility for Abused Spouses and Children (+)

NIWAP’s response in support of the memo that included comments for further clarification and instructions regarding the adjudication of such applications. USCIS issued a policy memorandum implementing the provisions of VAWA 2005 and 2000 granting continuing eligibility to apply for lawful permanent residency without the help or knowledge of their abusive spouse to abused spouses […]

[pdf] U Visa Law Enforcement Certification Resource Guide for Federal, State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Law Enforcement (January 2012) (+)

This is the original version of the U visa resource guide published by DHS it is available on the DHS website at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/dhs_u_visa_certification_guide.pdf. It was updated in 2015 to include more information to address questions certifiers were commonly asking for clarification from DHS and to expand the guide to be more useful to judicial certifiers and certifiers from state and federal government agencies who were not police or prosecutors. The updated version of this guide is available at http://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/pubs/dhs-updated-u-certification-resource-guide-2015/

[pdf] Discussion Paper: Model Policy U Visa Certification (May 2016) (+)

This proposed model policy discussion paper was developed under a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and in consultation with law enforcement leadership from multiple jurisdictions and with input from officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Please also review the Proposed Model Policy that accompanies this Discussion Paper.

[pdf] Proposed Model U Visa Policy (+)

This proposed model policy was developed under a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and in consultation with law enforcement leadership from multiple jurisdictions and with input from officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Please also review the discussion paper that accompanies this Model policy.

[pdf] Department of Homeland Security: U Visa Immigration Relief for Victims of Certain Crimes: An Overview for Law Enforcement (February 2017) (+)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a tool that provides an overview for law enforcement and other government agencies (including judges) authorized by the U Visa statutes, regulations and policies to sign U visa certifications. The overview describes the role of a certifier, what constitutes U Visa criminal activity, which government agencies are eligible to certify, who can sign a certification, when a certification may be signed, tips for completing the certification, and includes phone numbers, websites and resources available to assist certifiers from DHS and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

[pdf] U Visa Toolkit for Law Enforcement Agencies and Prosecutors (+)

By providing U‐visa certifications, law enforcement officials add to their arsenal of crime fighting tools because victims feel safer coming forward to report crimes. This document provides the following background information on the U‐visa: an overview of the U‐visa and a section on law enforcement officials and the U‐visa certification. The section on law enforcement officials includes who qualifies for a U‐visa, which criminal activities are covered by the U‐visa, the application process, and other information that will assist law enforcement in their role as certifiers.

[pdf] Hawaii Materials Benefits-Confidentiality Training (March 15, 2017) (+)

Materials list covering the following topics: Legal Rights Overview and Brochures; Access to Public Benefits and Services for Immigrant Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims; Child Care; Drivers’ Licenses; Education; Health Care; Shelter and Transitional Housing; Public and Assisted Housing; LIHEAP; Non-Work Social Security Numbers; Public Charge and Immigrant Victims; TANF; VAWA Confidentiality; Legal Services Representation of Immigrant Victims; and Immigrant Victim’s Immigration Options

Webinar-Immigrant Crime Victim Access to Federally Assisted Housing (February 22, 2017)

Training materials and Power Point Webinar Recording Immigrant Crime Victims Access to Federally Assisted Housing (February 22, 2017) Webinar Slideshow NHLP & NIWAP, PowerPoint Slides for Webinar: Immigrant Access to Federally Assisted Housing (Feb. 22, 2017) Full training materials packet NHLP and NIWAP Info Packet with Power Point Slides and Materials (Feb. 22, 2017) Transitional […]

[pdf] Slides Webinar Immigrant Victim Access Federally Assisted Housing (February 22, 2017) (+)

PowerPoint presentation slides for the webinar on access to public and assisted housing, shelter and transitional housing for immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, trafficking, abused and abandoned immigrant children and immigrant homeless. The document included the PowerPoint presentation and the cover list of documents distributed with the webinar.

[pdf] DHS Proteccions Para Las Víctimas Inmigrantes (Protections for Immigrant Victims)(Marzo 1, 2017) (+)

El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional ha producido una infografía que provee un resumen de protecciones legales para víctimas de crimen quien son adultos y niños. Esta infografía provee protección sobre inmigración para víctimas que sufren abuso en los estados unidos y/o en el extranjero. Las formas de alivio son: VAWA auto petición, Visa U, Visa T, Presencia Continua, Estado Especial de Inmigrante Juvenil (SIJS) y Asilo. Esta infografía tiene enlaces al sitio de web de DHS con materiales de entrenamiento e información sobre estos programas, formas de aplicaciones e instrucciones producido por el gobierno.

[pdf] USCIS Policy Manual Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (Dec 14 2016) (+)

This document is the training manual developed by USCIS used by USCIS officials responsible for adjudicating Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).

Enhanced Safety Planning for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence Webinar: Early Identification of Victims and VAWA Confidentiality (February 24, 2017)

Abusers often use the threat of immigration enforcement as a way to maintain power and control and to make victims less likely to seek protection. For this reason, it is important for advocates to understand how to: help immigrant survivors become aware of their rights; identify special immigration remedies for victims, including special VAWA provisions around confidentiality; and how to prepare […]

VAWA Confidentiality Protections for Immigrant Crime Victims (March 3, 2017)

The Three Prongs of VAWA Confidentiality and Courthouse Protections for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking and Other U Visa Criminal Activities (March 3, 2017) By: Leslye E. Orloff VAWA confidentiality was designed to enhance protection for immigrant crime victims in several significant ways.  It allows victims to confidentially file for immigration relief […]

[pdf] US DOJ Memo Case Processing Priorities 01 31 2017 (+)

This memorandum serves to rescind the February 3, 2016, memorandum (“Revised Docketing Practices Relating to Certain EOIR Priority Cases”) and the March 24, 2015, memorandum (“Docketing Practices Relating to Unaccompanied Children Cases and Adults with Children Released on Alternatives to Detention Cases in Light of New Priorities”).

Spouses Battered or Subjected to Extreme Cruelty by A, E (3), H or G Visa Holders Are Eligible to Apply for Work Authorization (February 14, 2017)

February 14, 2017  Announcement from NIWAP and Raksha USCIS is now accepting  employment authorization applications from abused immigrant spouses of H, G, A and E (3) visa holders. The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 amended Section 106 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide access to legal work authorization for abused spouses of […]

[pdf] USCIS Memo: Eligibility for Employment Authorization for Battered Spouses of Certain Nonimmigrants (March 8, 2016) (+)

United States Citizenship and Immigration Service USCIS revisions to adjudicators manual and policy memo implementing VAWA 2005’s creation of access to work authorization for immigrant spouses and children subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by their work visa holder (A, E(3), G or H) spouse or parent.

Evidence Checklists For Work With Immigrant Survivors (February 11, 2017)

NIWAP has developed a number of checklists that assist attorneys and advocates working with immigrant survivors to prepare for a variety of legal cases on behalf of immigrant survivors.  Some of the following checklists are geared toward preparing to accompany a victim who will be applying for state or federal public benefits that the victim […]

[pdf] Pathways to Immigration Relief for Students (June 20, 2014) (+)

Brochure discussing the various forms of immigration relief that lead to lawful permanent residency that may be available for immigrant children and youth. This tool should be used by advocates, attorneys, teachers, school personnel and university staff to screen children and young people for forms of immigration relief that includes pathways to lawful permanent residency.

Tools for Advocates Assisting Immigrant Crime Victims in Immigration Cases

Identifying Immigration Options for Immigrant Survivors How to Prepare Your Case Through A Trauma Informed Approach: Tips on Using the Trauma Informed Structured Interview Questionnaires for Family Court Cases Developing a survivor’s story is a critical component of preparing for any case in which a client has a history of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, […]

Sample DACA Application & Biometrics Letter

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) materials from Public Counsel – Sample biometrics letter, closing letter, and sample DACA application. Public Counsel Sample Biometrics Letter For DACA Applicants Sample biometrics letter explaining how a DACA applicant should go about completing a CIS biometrics request and what to do if s/he is turned away by the Application Support Center. Public Counsel Sample DACA […]

[pdf] BIA Amius Brief on Recent Research Concerning the Neurobiological, Cognitive, and Psychological Development of Children and Adolescents (July 11, 2016) (+)

This Amicus brief was submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals and addresses an important issue presented by Amicus Invitation No. I 6-06-09, focusing on how the term “minor” should be defined and understood by the Board in child asylum cases in light of the substantial body of recent research concerning the neurobiological, cognitive, and psychological development of children and adolescents. This brief will focus on the significant and deleterious effect trauma and
maltreatment have on that development, including the impact of impaired development on the readiness of child migrants to file asylum applications.

[pdf] DHS Infographic: Protections for Immigrant Victims (January 12, 2017) (+)

Infographic produced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security providing an overview of crime victim based legal protections for adult and child immigrant victims. This infographic covers immigration relief for victims who suffer victimization in the U.S. and/or abroad. The forms of relief covered are: VAWA self-petition, U visa, T visa, Continued Presence, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and Asylum. The infographic contains links to DHS websites containing additional government produced training materials and information on these programs, application forms and instructions.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Interactive Infographic on Protections for Immigrant Victims

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an infographic detailing the protections afforded to immigrant victims. This interactive infographic, which is also available in Spanish, describes qualifications and benefits for each form of immigration relief designed to help immigrant victims.  When you click on each form of relief, a link takes you to a DHS […]

[pdf] Form I-730 (+)

Form I-730 must be filed by petitioners seeking immigration relief for refugee or asylee relatives. This form expires on April 30, 2017, however, it remains current until an updated form is released.

[pdf] Form I-589 (+)

Form I-589 must be filed by petitioners seeking asylum. This form expired on December 31, 2016, however, it remains current until an updated version is issued.

[pdf] T Visa Declaration (Certification) I-914 Supplement B Instructions (January 18, 2017) (+)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services T Visa Declaration (Certification ) Form for use by law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and other government agencies in assisting victims of human trafficking filing T visa applications. The Declaration provides helpful evidence in support of the trafficking victim’s application for a T visa.

[pdf] I-360 Form (+)

The I-360 form is to be filed by victims of domestic violence perpetrated by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent or U.S. citizen adult son or daughter to receive immigration relief. This form expires on 3/31/18, however, this form will remain in effect until a new form is issued.

[pdf] Instructions for T Visa Declaration (Certification) Form I-914, Supplement B (January 18, 2017) (+)

Instructions for filling out Form I-914, Supplement B, Declaration (Certification) to be used by law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and other government agencies signing declarations/certifications that provide evidence in support of a victim of human trafficking’s application for a T visa.

[pdf] DHS Enforcement Priorities: Policies and Memoranda Information for State Court Judges (February 11, 2017) (+)

DHS Enforcement Priorities: Policies and Memoranda Information for State Court Judges. These DHS enforcement policies protect T and U visa holders as well as VAWA self- petitioners; however, they also apply in any family case where a foreign born person comes before the court.2 The purpose of this bench card is to inform courts about DHS protections available to all immigrants so that the court can assess cases with an understanding of real policies and see official memoranda describing the intended protections available.

Access to Public and Assisted Housing VAWA Self-Petitioners (January 26, 2017)

January 26, 2017 As a key part of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed by Congress in 1996 and 2003, battered immigrant spouses and children abused by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents who had filed applications for immigration relief under VAWA have access to public and assisted housing.  For […]

[pdf] HUD VAWA Self-Petitioner Cover Letter (December 22, 2016) (+)

Cover letter to memo from HUD Acting General Counsel to Secretary Castro clarifying that certain immigrant victims battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent spouses have satisfactory immigration status to apply for and access Section 214 public and assisted housing including public and multifamily housing.

[pdf] Eligibility of VAWA Self-Petitioners for Financial Assistance Under Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 (December 15, 2016) (+)

This memo from HUD’s Acting General Council to Secretary Castro clarifies HUD’s position on the rights of certain noncitizens who are battered or subject to extreme cruelty by a spouse or parent, who is a Untied States Citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR), to apply for and receive assistance under Section 214 of the Housing and Communality Development Act. Specifically it clarifies that VAWA self-petitioners can indicate they are in “satisfactory immigration status” when applying for assistance or continued assistance from Section 214-covered housing providers (this includes public and multifamily housing). Under this memo VAWA self-petitioners, VAWA cancellation of removal, VAWA suspension of deportation and approved family based visa petition applicants who have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent are able to stay in public and assisted housing units when the abuser is removed from the unit by a protection order and will also be able to apply for 214 benefits. Battered immigrant spouses and children of citizens and lawful permanent residents will no longer be subject to proration.

[pdf] ICE OPLA VAWA Confidentiality and Immigration Relief for Crime Victims Training (November 11, 2016) (+)

This notice reports on the trainings conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Principal Legal Advisor on VAWA Confidentiality and immigration protections for victims for ICE Assistant chief counsel and Enforcement and removal officers. The goal of this training was to ensure that all ICE Trial Attorneys and the Assistant Chief Counsel they report to are aware of the requirements of VAWA confidentiality and the protections available to immigrant crime victims under the VAWA, T visa, and U visa programs and under the 2011 Victim Witness Memo. The document lists the process for contacting the ICE Office of Chief Counsel for problems with particular cases and the point of contact at OPLA on VAWA confidentiality.