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.
In order to file for that status, the alien must provide a certification from
a federal, state, or local law enforcement official certifying the following:
This certification must be executed using the U Nonimmigrant Status Certification
(Form I-918, Supplement B). USCIS will give the certification significant weight
during adjudication; however, it alone will not be the sole evidence that a petitioner
meets eligibility requirements. USCIS will look at the totality of the circumstances
surrounding the petition before rendering a decision.
- The alien has been a victim of qualifying criminal activity;
- The alien possesses information about the qualifying criminal activity;
- The alien has been, is being or is likely to be helpful to the investigation
and/or prosecution of that qualifying criminal activity.
It is important to note that a certifying agency is under no legal obligation
to complete this certification. However, the alien petitioner will be ineligible
for U nonimmigrant status without one. The petitioner is responsible for filing
the completed certification with his/her initial Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status
Certifications shall be prepared by the certifying agency and should provide specific
details about the nature of the crime being investigated and/or prosecuted and
describe the petitioner’s helpfulness in the case. Form I-918 Supplement
B must be prepared by a certifying agency, and signed by a qualifying official
within six months immediately preceding the alien’s submission of Form I-918.
U Nonimmigrant Status Certification Specifications:
Qualified certifying agencies include:
Certifying officials include:
- Federal, State or local law enforcement agencies; or
- Other agencies that have criminal investigative jurisdiction in their respective
areas of expertise such as child protective services, the Equal Opportunity
Commission and the Department of labor.
Certification must contain an affirmation of the following:
- The head of a qualifying certifying agency;
- Any person in a supervisory role in a qualifying agency who is specifically
designated by the head of that agency to issue U nonimmigrant certifications;
- Federal, State or local judges
Qualifying criminal activity includes:
- The official signing the certificate is authorized to do so;
- The agency is a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency, prosecutor,
judge, or other authority having responsibility for the detection, investigation,
prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of a qualifying criminal activity;
- The petitioner has been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity;
- The petitioner possesses information regarding that activity;
- The petitioner has been, is being, or will likely be helpful to the investigation;
- The criminal activity violated U.S. law, or occurred within the United States,
or its territories and possessions.
|Abusive Sexual Contact
||Obstruction of Justice
||Unlawful Criminal Restraint
|Female Genital Mutilation
||Other Related Crimes
Note: Certifying agencies must notify USCIS in writing if, at any time, the petitioner unreasonably refuses to assist in the investigation of the criminal activity, or if the agency wishes to withdraw its certification for any other reason.