U Visa Immigration Lawyer & Attorney
At Bueno Law we are an office of immigrants for immigrants.
Our attorneys & staff are talented immigration warriors with a deep passion for assisting the immigrant community through the U Visa process and offering guidance on how to effectively navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and your U Visa case.
When you work with Bueno Law you will feel like you are part of a family, because we treat you like our family. Our team speaks English, Spanish, & Portuguese to best help you through your U Visa case.
Who We Serve
Central American Immigrants
However, you may still be eligible to be represented by us if you do not consider yourself a part of these demographics. We encourage you to contact us if you have experienced violence, discrimination, threats, intimidation, or abuse in any form.
What is a U Visa?
If someone is a victim of a serious crime in the United States, and helped law enforcement in the investigation, usually by filing a police report, the person might qualify for a U visa.
Basically, the U visa enables victims of certain crimes to report the incident to law enforcement without fear or concern of a subsequent investigation into their own activities or immigration status. It offers a level of legal assurance that you will not be deported if you call the police to report a crime. The U Visa is a pathway to a Green Card and comes with a powerful waiver that can erase bad immigration history.
Who Can Qualify for U Visa in California
Eligibility for a U visa includes meeting the following prerequisites:
The individual was a victim of a specific, “qualifying” criminal offense
The individual suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the criminal offense
The individual possesses both credible and reliable information concerning the qualifying criminal offense or activity
The individual has, or will, assist members of law enforcement in the investigation and/or prosecution of the criminal offender (or offenders) and received a “Law Enforcement Certification” to substantiate their assistance
The individual was the victim of a crime that violated U.S. criminal law (e.g., the crime cannot be predicated on international law or another country’s criminal code)
What Crimes Qualify for U Visa
The criminal offense, or offenses, serving as the basis for pursuing a U visa generally need to be serious in nature (e.g., offenses such as rape, drug trafficking, domestic violence, etc.) and need to have taken place within the United States. Though, it is important to note that, in certain situations, criminal offenses that occurred overseas, but violated U.S. law, may be eligible (e.g., offenses such as sex trafficking or kidnapping).
To help assess whether the crime you were a victim of triggers eligibility for a U visa, schedule a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable U visa immigration lawyer with Bueno Law today.
U Visa Application Process
Navigating the complexities of the U visa process can be challenging and intimidating, especially for someone unfamiliar with U.S. law. This is why it makes sense to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable U visa immigration attorney in California. For example, it is important to understand that there is a hard cap on the number of U visa applications that can be approved each fiscal year. Specifically, the number of U visas is limited to just 10,000 in a given fiscal year. This means there is the possibility of having your application denied, if only due to the finite number of U visas that may be granted at a specific point in time. For example, some U visa applicants wait up to 17 years before their U visa application is formally approved.
Applying for a U visa requires filling out Form I-918, Petition for U nonimmigrant status. There is a “supplement B” portion of Form I-918 that requires an authorized official’s signature. You should also be prepared to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity you are reporting as part of your U visa application.
Receiving a Green Card after Getting Your U Visa
If you successfully apply for and receive a U visa, then you can enjoy lawful immigration status in the United States for approximately 4 years. Nevertheless, after three years, you will become eligible to apply for a Legal Permanent Residency (i.e., a “green card”).
Challenges Faced by Warriors Seeking a U Visa
There are many challenges and obstacles associated with pursuing a U visa. For example, the application process, as is common for the majority of immigration proceedings, can be time-consuming, frustrating, and tedious. For example, some U visa applicants wait up to an entire year before their U visa application is formally approved. This is why it is so important to have an experienced California U visa immigration lawyer by your side. An attorney can help ensure your U visa application is filed properly and the process moves along as efficiently as possible.
Case Study: Bueno Law’s Experience with U Visa Cases
The U visa immigration attorneys with Bueno Law do not just talk a good game. We “walk the walk” and have receipts reflecting our success in helping clients with an array of complex and challenging legal issues, including U visa applications. Here is just one testimonial provided by a client-warrior highlighting how we work with clients and take the time to understand their concerns and objectives:
"I was very nervous and anxious to look for a lawyer in the United States. I never thought I would need one. I thought it would be a very difficult conversation because I would have to expose things that have happened to me. And it was. But Fernanda was very delicate, always very polite, very professional. She was a good listener and gave me plenty of time to take breaths and collect myself. At our first meeting I already decided that I wanted her to take my case. She kept me informed of everything. My experience was excellent." - LFM
Let Us Help You
Bueno Law is an office of immigrants for immigrants. We work day in and day out to help immigrants in need of effective legal advice, including those who have been the victims of serious crimes. We understand the intense emotions and anxiety associated with the U visa application process and stand ready to help you through this difficult time. Contact a U visa immigration lawyer with Bueno Law today to schedule a confidential case review. We have offices in both San Rafael, CA, and San Diego, CA.