U-VISA: Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS A U-VISA?
A U-Visa is a temporary visa issued by the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS). It gives victims of certain crimes (and sometimes their children) temporary legal status and eligibility to work in the United States for up to 4 years. U-Visas are not available to all crime victims and applying for a U-Visa does not prevent ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) from contacting you.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I WANT TO APPLY FOR A U-VISA?
Before submitting paperwork to either the City Attorney’s Office or USCIS, we strongly recommend that you contact an attorney who practices Immigration law. Since we are prosecutors and not immigration attorneys, we cannot provide you with legal assistance or advice regarding your U-Visa or other immigration remedy. Even if you have limited financial resources, there are many reliable free and/or low cost immigration legal services in the Los Angeles area.
HOW DO I GET THE CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE TO SIGN A U-VISA LAW ENFORCEMENT CERTIFICATION (FORM I-918 SUPPLEMENTAL B)??
The case in which you were a victim must have been handled by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. That means that the law enforcement agency that responded to the crime was most likely Los Angeles Police Department and the crime was filed as a misdemeanor. If your case was filed as a felony, this is not the correct office.
You are or were the victim of qualifying criminal activity (link to website).
You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on your behalf and,
You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf.
IF I HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF A QUALIFYING CRIME, WHAT CONSTITUTES “HELPFULNESS”?
California Law defines “helpfulness” as requiring a victim to provide information reasonably requested by law enforcement. The City Attorney's Office decides “helpfulness” on a case-by-case basis but some indications of helpfulness may be, but are not limited to, responding to a subpoena, appearing in court, providing an interview, testifying at trial. Even if you haven't done any of those things, we will review the case to determine if you were helpful to our prosecution.