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Can you get a green card as a U nonimmigrant?

The victims of criminal acts already have life hard enough without having to worry about leaving the country. For nonimmigrants who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse while in the United States, there is a green card that could help them stay in the United States while they get the care and support they need.

Once they're in the United States, it may be in their best interests to stay. At that point, getting a green card may be the next item on the agenda. This is just one way to get permanent residency status.

Which immigration card is for victims of crimes?

The U visa, which provides U nonimmigrant status, is specifically designated to those who have suffered as a result of a crime. They are typically offered the visa as a way to stay in the country in exchange for information on criminal activities. Once a person has a U visa, he or she can decide to apply for a green card for permanent residency if he or she chooses.

How can you apply for a green card as a U nonimmigrant?

After becoming a U nonimmigrant, you may apply for a green card if you have been physically present in the country for at least three years since your U visa admission. You must still have the U visa designation at the time you request the green card.

Additionally, you'll need to show that you are justified in moving to the United States because it's on humanitarian grounds, it's in the public's interest or it is ensuring your family's unity.

If you are able to gain admission through the Immigration Nationality Act through section 212(z)(3)(E), then this pathway to a green card may not be right for you. Additionally, obtaining a green card through this path also requires evidence that you did provide assistance into the criminal investigation or prosecution of the person or people who participated in criminal against you.

Source: United States Department of Homeland Security, "Green Card for a Victim of a Crime (U Nonimmigrant)," accessed July 14, 2017

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