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U VISA CERTIFICATION

What are the requirements for a U visa?

» The petitioner:
Ÿ Was a victim of a qualifying criminal activity, that occurred in the U.S. or violated
U.S. law;
Ÿ Has specific, credible, and reliable information about the qualifying crime;
Ÿ Was, is being, or is likely to be helpful to the certifying agency in the detection,
investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of the qualifying crime;
Ÿ Suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the qualifying crime;
and
Ÿ Is admissible to the United States.

Who can complete the Form I-918B?

Ÿ Any federal, state, tribal, territorial, or local law enforcement agency, prosecutor, judge, or other authority that has
responsibility to detect, investigate, or prosecute the qualifying criminal activity, or convict or sentence the perpetrator.
Ÿ Agencies with criminal investigative jurisdiction, such as child and adult protective services, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, and federal and state Departments of Labor.

What does “helpful to law enforcement or a certifying agency” mean?

Ÿ The victim has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful to law enforcement,
prosecutors, judges, or other government officials in the investigation or
prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity of which they were a victim.
Ÿ Includes detection, conviction, or sentencing of the qualifying criminal activity
they were a victim of.
Ÿ A current investigation, the filing of charges, a prosecution, or a conviction are
not required to sign the law enforcement certification.

DIRECT VICTIMS

The person against whom the crime was perpetrated and who has suffered direct and proximate harm as a result
of the commission of qualifying criminal activity. Bystanders who suffer an unusually direct injury as a result of a
qualifying crime may also qualify.

INDIRECT VICTIMS

A person may be eligible as an indirect victim if the following requirements are met:
» The person must have a qualifying family relationship to the direct victim:
Ÿ If the direct victim is age 21 or older at the time the qualifying crime was committed, their spouse and unmarried
children under age 21 may qualify.
Ÿ If the direct victim is under age 21 at the time the qualifying crime was committed, their spouse, unmarried
children under age 21, parents, and unmarried siblings under age 18 may qualify.16
» The direct victim is unable to assist law enforcement because they are:
Ÿ Deceased due to murder or manslaughter; or
Ÿ Incompetent or incapacitated, including due to injury, trauma, or age.17
» The indirect victim must meet all other eligibility requirements for U nonimmigrant status.

VICTIM MUST HAVE SUFFERED SUBSTANTIAL PHYSICAL OR MENTAL ABUSE

As the certifying official, you should provide information about any known or observed physical or mental harm or
abuse sustained by the victim. Indicate whether the victim received any medical care to treat their injuries.
USCIS encourages you to attach supplemental documentation related to any injuries sustained (for
example, police reports).

USCIS is responsible for determining whether a person meets this eligibility requirement. USCIS will consider
all supporting evidence the certifying agency provides when determining whether a person is eligible for U
nonimmigrant status and may request additional information before adjudicating the petition.

VICTIM MUST POSSESS CREDIBLE AND RELIABLE INFORMATION

A victim must possess credible and reliable information, including specific facts about the qualifying criminal activity(ies) or events leading up to the victimization. However, when a victim is under 16 years of age on the date the qualifying criminal activity occurred, or a victim is incapacitated or incompetent, a parent, guardian, or next friend may provide information on their behalf.

A VICTIM’S RESPONSIBILITY TO ASSIST

A victim seeking a U visa must provide ongoing assistance with the investigation or prosecution related to the
qualifying crime(s) when reasonably requested, including after reporting a crime and after the certifying agency signs
Form I-918B. This responsibility continues even after the U nonimmigrant status is granted to the victim. A victim
applying for lawful permanent residence based on a U visa will have to show that they did not unreasonably refuse to
comply with requests for assistance.

VICTIM WAS “HELPFUL” IN THE INVESTIGATION OR PROSECUTION

Your agency can certify a Form I-918B based on past helpfulness, present helpfulness, or the likelihood of a victim’s
future helpfulness. By signing the form, you are certifying that the victim has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful to
law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, or other government officials in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of
the qualifying criminal activity of which they were a victim. Federal U visa regulations do not set a specific statute of
limitations for signing the Form I-918B. The key is the victim’s helpfulness, not the timing of the helpfulness. A parent, guardian, or next friend may also provide the required assistance if the victim is under 16 years of age or
incapacitated or incompetent and therefore unable to be helpful in the investigation.

There is no requirement that you sign the certification at a specific stage of the investigation or prosecution (for
example, active/open or closed) or that the investigation or prosecution result in a specific outcome (for example,
the perpetrator was charged, arrested, or convicted). There is no requirement that an investigation or prosecution be
initiated or completed after the victim reports the crime and makes themselves available to reasonable requests for
assistance. The initiation or progress of an investigation or prosecution is outside of the victim’s control.

In determining whether the victim is, has been, or will be helpful, USCIS considers the facts of each case, including:

Ÿ The level of assistance that law enforcement requests of the victim;
Ÿ The victim’s responsiveness to requests from law enforcement for assistance; and
Ÿ The victim’s individual circumstances (such as age/maturity, trauma, etc.).

OBTAINING CERTIFICATION FROM THE NYPD

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