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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spanish translation of 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.
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 […]
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.
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, […]
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 (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 […]
The Department of Homeland Security issued this policy memorandum to provide guidance about extensions of status for T and U nonimmigrants, including any related applications for adjustment of status.
The Department of Homeland Security issued instructions to assist U-visa petitioners in completing I-918 Supplement B to certify nonimmigrant status.
Form I-918 Supplement B must be signed by an authorized official of the certifying law enforcement agency in order to file for U visa immigration relief. (March 2017)
The Department of Homeland Security provided these instructions to assist U-visa petitioners complete Form I-918. (March 2017)
Form I-918, Supplement A can be filed to petition for immigration relief as a qualifying family member of a U visa recipient. It expired on January 31, 2016, however, it remains in force until an updated form is issued.
Form I-918 should be filed by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, felonious assault, trafficking, or other serious crimes in order to petition for immigration relief. (March 2017)
A model policy that endorses the use of the U Visa as a crime fighting tool for law enforcement agencies to better serve immigrant victims of crime.
Operation U Visa PowerPoint (PDF)
Road Map to Safer Communities PowerPoint (PDF)
Advocate’s Role in VAWA and U Visas PowerPoint (PDF)
Advanced Immigration PowerPoint (PDF)
Exploring Social Cultural and Faith Communities as Allies PowerPoint (PDF)
Comparison Chart of U visa, T Visa, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petition, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), and Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
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.
All materials on this page were presented as part of our December 2016 conference: “Addressing Culture: Systematic Responses to Underserved Immigrant Populations.” Documents are listed under the workshop or plenary with which they are associated. Opening Plenary – How to Use Culture, Religion and the Law for Survivor Safety and Justice Opening Plenary Powerpoint (PDF) […]
Original U-visa statue text including the Congressional Findings and Purpose.
Public benefits that U visa victims can access are very limited. This fact sheet discusses the public benefits that are available to U visa victims largely through state funded public benefits in a limited number of states.
Webinar in collaboration with the Battered Women’s Justice Project
Webinar Co-led by NIWAP and the University of Michigan.
Interim Guidance policy memorandum implementing VAWA 2013 statutory changes to the U visa program. This memo adds new crimes, discusses age out protections for U visa children, the public charge exception for VAWAs, Ts and Us, U visa adjustment of status improvements, and access to foster care and unaccompanied refugee minor programs for certain u visa recipients.
Webinar in collaboration with BWJP
“USCIS plans to implement a policy for principal U visa petitioners on the waiting list who reside abroad and any qualifying derivative family members who reside abroad to request parole to enter the United States while the principal U visa petitioner is on the waiting list. USCIS recognizes that the U visa provides lawful immigration status to a vulnerable population, and USCIS believes that this population will be better served through an established and streamlined process to request parole.”
Report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Ombudsman recommending The Ombudsman that:
1. Consistent with its regulations, USCIS should afford parole to eligible U petitioners and family members on the waiting list who reside abroad by creating a policy to facilitate entry into the United States while waiting for a visa to become available.
2. The parole policy created by USCIS should allow for concurrent filings of the U visa petitions and requests for parole.
3. Cases should be adjudicated at the Vermont Service Center, where U petitions currently are processed, to ensure consistent and effective adjudication, and where Congress expressly authorized the placement of the adjudication of vulnerable populations.
USCIS agreed on September 7, 2016 to that it will allow Waitlist approved U visa victims and the family members they included in their applications are eligible to apply for humanitarian parole into the United States.
DHS announcement confirming the USCIS will accept humanitarian parole applications for wait list approved U visa victims and the family members the U visa victims included in their U visa application. This policy promoted family unity and victim protection. Helps U visa victims who may be harmed by perpetrators abroad enter the U.S. promoting their safety and facilitating their cooperation in criminal investigations and prosecutions.
This article discusses legal options for immigrant girls and immigrant women who are recent immigrants to the United States. It provides an overview of legal immigration relief options including the VAWA self-petition, U Visa, T Visa, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The article provides a detailed legislative history of SIJS, discusses the importance of trauma informed screening of immigrant children for immigration relief eligibility, and provides an overview of help that Legal Services Corporation funded programs can provide to immigrant children who have suffered battering, extreme cruelty, sexual assault or human trafficking. Importantly the article provides a detailed discussion of the special role state family and juvenile courts play and legal issues that arise in state court proceedings that are a prerequisite to a child’s ability to file a case seeking SIJS immigration relief.
Resources list for U Visa certification.
A chart comparing the eligibility, process, and benefits of U Visas, T Visas, VAWA Self-Petition, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SJIS), and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Written by Krisztina Szabo, Spencer Cantrell, and Leslye Orloff.
These slides were presented by Leslye Orloff in a keynote address entitled “Helping Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Victims: Holding their Abusers Accountable” at Youngstown State University on March 31, 2016. For additional materials relevant to this training, please visit www.niwap.org/go/Ohio2016.
Article by Ann Moline Women’s Enews correspondent, on the collaboration between Democratic and Republican Senate staff who led Senator Kennedy and Abraham’s work on the Violence Against Women Act of 2000’s immigration protections including the creation of the U and T Visas and improvements to VAWA self-petitioning, VAWA cancellation of removal and VAWA suspension of deportation.
These slides were presented by Edna Yang, Rocio Molina, and Mercedes Lorduy at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 30, 2015.
These slides were presented by Edna Yang and Mercedes V. Lorduy at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 30, 2015.
These slides were presented by Officer Michael LaRiviere, Detective Shelli Sonnenberg, and Bill Tamayo at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 30, 2015.
These slides were presented by Commissioner Loretta Young, Judge Mary Weir, and Leslye E. Orloff at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 29, 2015.
These slides were presented by Rocio Molina, Benish Anver, and Aparna Bhattacharyya at the Community of Responders: A Holistic Approach to Working with Immigrant Survivors of Abuse in New Orleans, LA on July 29, 2015.
Immigration protective relief is an important tool for community policing that strengthens the ability of law enforcement agencies to detect, investigate, prosecute, and solve cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and other types of criminal activity. Without adequate language assistance, many immigrant victims cannot obtain police protection, obtain emergency medical assistance, or give police crucial information. Use this card as a checklist to screen for potential immigration relief and language issues.
This workshop was presented by Leslye E. Orloff and Officer Michael LaRiviere at the National Sheriff’s Association Winter 2016 Conference in Washington, D.C. The slides aim enhance officer, victim, and community safety using language access and certification programs including the U and T Visas.
These slides were presented by Leslye E. Orloff and Officer Michael LaRiviere at the National Center for Victims of Crime 2015 Training Institute. The slides aim to educate law enforcement, prosecutors, and other victim service providers about their role in providing services to immigrant crime victims, including providing U visa certification and T visa endorsement.
This workshop was presented by Leslye E. Orloff and Officer Michael LaRiviere at the National Sheriff’s Association Winter conference in Washington, D.C. The workshop aims to enhance officer, victim, and community safety using language access and certification programs including the U and T Visas. PowerPoint Presentation U Visa LEP Training for LE and Prosecutors NSA Winter […]
Updated November 30, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security published an updated resource guide to clarify and further explain the role of certifying agencies in the U and T visa application process. This guide addresses concerns, answers common questions, and provides accurate information on signing I-918B and I-914B forms for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and other government agencies qualified to sign U visa certifications such as the EEOC, federal and state labor departments, adult and child protective services, and any other eligible agencies that have criminal, civil, or administrative investigative or prosecutorial authority. The guide provides information on what U and T visas are, discusses U visa qualifying criminal activities and severe forms of trafficking in persons, explains the standard for “helpfulness” and “reasonable request for assistance”, and has many more important tips and information about the U and T visa.
Breaking Barriers is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of domestic and family violence. This Manual provides a detailed overview explanation of immigrant survivors’ legal rights under immigration, family, public benefits, and criminal laws and their rights to […]
This is a comprehensive manual that provides information that will be useful to advocates, attorneys, justice, and social services professionals working with and assisting immigrant survivors of sexual assault. This manual will help advocates and professionals expand their knowledge and capacity to aid immigrant victims of sexual assault in accessing justice under federal and state civil, […]
Collection of summaries of Department of Homeland Security legal memorandum and guidance regarding VAWA, T-Visas, and U-Visas.
Example of Affidavit in Support of Fee Waiver to USCIS for immigrant victims applying for VAWA self-petition, U visa waiver (I-192), Employment Authorization Document (I-765) and Adjustment of Status (I-485).
Reference guide for judges on purpose, benefits, eligibility, qualifying criminal activities, and other requirements for U-Visas.
Fact sheet on U-visa background, requirements, and protocols.
A flowchart of options for advocates and attorneys that seek to collaborate with LE on U-Visa certification cases. This flowchart describes how to build a trusting relationship as an advocate or attorney working with law enforcement on u-visa certification issues.
Chapter from “Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault” to assist advocates and attorneys in identifying sexual assault, domestic violence, and other crime victims who may be eligible for U-visa immigration status and to provide resources to help advocates and attorneys work together to prepare U-visa applications for immigrant crime victims.
This chart has been developed as a tool to help advocates, attorneys, judges, law enforcement and other professionals to promote a basic understanding of how various forms of immigration relief available to help immigrant crime victims and children differ. The chart compares eligibility requirements, access to employment authorization and lawful permanent residency, and the application process.
These scenarios serve as a training tool for police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials to assist in identifying and addressing issues that arise in accessing helpfulness for U visa certification purposes.
This chart compares forms of crime victim based immigration relief for immigrant children. It covers VAWA self-petitioning for child abuse victims, the U visa for child victims of child abuse, sexual assault and other forms of criminal activity and special immigrant juvenile status available for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by one or both of their parents. The chart compares eligibility for immigration relief, the immigration relief process, timing of access to lawful permanent residency and access to public benefits and services among these three forms of immigration relief.
This judicial training update published by Judge Alan F. Pendleton, Anoka County District Court, provides guidance on U visa certification by state court judges based on the ABA rules of judicial ethics and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies, regulations, training materials and statutes and consultation with DHS U visa experts. This training update for judges discusses the U visa program, dispels common myths about U visa certification by judges, answers questions judges and court staff have about U visa certification, and discusses judicial ethics ABA rules and a 2015 Minnesota Advisory Opinion discussing how, when and why judges can sign U visa certifications consistent with judicial ethics rules and canons.
This judicial training update published by Judge Alan F. Pendleton, Anoka County District Court, provides guidance on U visa certification by state court judges based on the ABA rules of judicial ethics and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policies, regulations, training materials and statutes and consultation with DHS U visa experts. This training update for judges discusses the U visa program, dispels common myths about U visa certification by judges, answers questions judges and court staff have about U visa certification, and discusses how, when and why the Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct permits signing of U visa certifications and the June 26, 2015 Minnesota Board of Judicial Standards Advisory Opinion 2015-2 on this issue.
This opinion by the Minnesota Board of Judicial Standards discusses how judges can sign U visa certifications consistent with the codes of judicial ethics. There are two Judicial Training and Education Updates one national http://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/pubs/national-uvisa-judicial-training-update/ and one for Minnesota http://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/pubs/minnesota-uvisa-judicial-training-update/ that discusses the this opinion and its implications on U visa certification by judges. The November 30, 2015 U and T Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guidefor Federal, State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Law Enforcement, Prosecutors, Judges, and Other Government Agencies written by the Department of Homeland Security provides further information for judges on U visa certification. http://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/pubs/dhs-updated-u-certification-resource-guide-2015/
This document collects, reports, and summarizes research findings regarding immigrant women, work, and violence.
This checklist has been developed to assist police, prosecutors, judges, commissioners, magistrates and other U visa certifying officials in identifying the wide range of ways an immigrant crime victim can provide helpfulness to justice system officials and government agencies in detection, investigation, prosecution, conviction or sentencing of U visa listed criminal activity. The document includes citations to U.S. Department of Homeland Security policies, regulations, guidance and training materials on U visa certification and helpfulness. A national team of law enforcement, prosecutors and judicial trainers with expertise and experience on the U visa contributed to the development of the list of examples of helpfulness included in this document based on their experience and expertise.
Chapter in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. This chapter provides basic information on various immigration remedies available to child survivors of sexual abuse and/or assault. This chapter will cover: (1) VAWA (“Violence Against Women Act”) self-petitioning; (2) VAWA cancellation of removal and suspension of deportation; (3) Special Immigrant Juvenile status (“SIJ”); (4) U-visas/interim relief; (5) T-visas; and (6) asylum.
this Department of Justice memorandum addressing issues relating to the 3 and 10-year bars to admission under Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) and (II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the decision to designate as a period of stay authorized by the Attorney General the entire period during which an alien has been granted deferred action by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
Flyer advertising the availability of training on language access, and U and T visa certification by law enforcement and prosecutors and working with immigrant and LEP victims. The reverse side of the flyer contains information about the technical assistance available to law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates, attorneys and other professionals working with immigrant crime victims.
Adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence for aliens in T or U Nonimmigrant status regulations.
Part two of fictional case scenarios that demonstrate “helpfulness”.
Part one of fictional case scenarios that demonstrate “helpfulness”.
A fact sheet that answers frequently asked questions about U-Visas.
Under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (“VTVPA”), battered noncitizens and other crime victims may be eligible for a nonimmigrant visa, the U Visa. This form of relief, if granted, gives the applicant immediate legal status as a nonimmigrant and possible lawful permanent residence in the long-term. The following is a list of the requirements that must be met by an applicant, and some suggestions of evidence that may be offered to meet each requirement. Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is required to consider “any credible evidence” in its adjudication of an applicant’s case. The suggested evidentiary documents in this memo are meant to be guidelines, and not exhaustive descriptions of the types of evidence that may be offered to support an application under the U Visa.
Instructions for Form I-918 Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification. (New Form March 2017)
In March of 2017 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services released a new U Visa Certification Form for to be used by law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, commissioners, magistrates, the EEOC, the Department of Labor and other U visa certifying agencies. Form I-918 Supplement B: U Nonimmigrant Status Certification
Form I-918 Supplement A: Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient (March 2017)
Blank Sample Form I-918: Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status
Instructions for Form I-918 Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status
The paper focuses on problems, successes, and creative solutions reported by attorneys and advocates working with immigrant victims eligible to receive crime victim U visas under federal immigration laws. Victims applying for U visa immigration relief must, under current law, submit a U visa certification signed by the head of a law enforcement agency, prosecutor, judge, or other government official with their U visa application. This research provides information regarding effective strategies and best practices used by grantees that are successful in obtaining U visa certification. The systemic barriers that immigrant victims and their advocates encounter when working with U visa are also discussed, along with creative solutions grantees are using to overcome these barriers.
Lieutenant Chris Cole, Storm Lake, Iowa Police Department, Statement in Support of U Visas, T Visas, and VAWA Self-Petitions
Police Captain Maria Alvarenga-Watkins, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (Retired) Statement in Support of U Visas, T Visas, and VAWA Self-Petitions.
Officer Michael P. LaRiviere: Statement in Support of U Visas, T Visas, and VAWA Self-Petitions.
Deputy of Police Operation Pete Helein (Retired): Statement in Support of U Visas, T Visas, and VAWA Self-Petitions.
Sergeant Inspector Antonio Flores, San Francisco Police Department, Statement in Support of U-Visas, T-Visas, and VAWA Self-Petitions
Newsletter aimed towards law enforcement about the U-visa as a tool to help build police build a bridge tot eh neighborhoods they serve and solve crimes in.
Department of State reference document that can provide guidance about processing nonimmigrant visas in the U category.
Frequently asked questions about U visas.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Memorandum providing guidance to the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations Directors about factors to consider when adjudicating requests for a Stay of a Final Administrative Order of Removal filed by an alien with a pending petition for U nonimmgrant status (U-Visa).
USCIS Memorandum to provide guidance to USCIS officers regarding eligibility requirements and procedures under the new nonimmigrant classification created by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000.
Fact sheet on certifying U nonimmigrant status using the I-918 form and supplement B. An alien victim of criminal activity may file for U Nonimmigrant Status – status set aside for victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse because of the activity and who also are willing to assist law enforcement agencies or government officials in the investigation of that activity.
Policy memorandum authorizing the Vermont Service Center to approve an Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539) to extend U nonimmigrant status for a derivative family member whose initial period of stay is for less than four years.
Memorandum discussing Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s procedures for processing requests to certify U visa petitions.
DOJ Memorandum giving instructions providing interim guidance to INS relating to VTVPA. Establishes interim procedures while regulations implementing T and U visa status are being promulgated by INS.