Understand U Visa Extensions And Caps In The U.S.

As is the case with most immigration documents in the United States, U visas are subject to specific guidelines under immigration laws, which can ultimately affect whether or not victims of certain crimes can gain entry to the country for the purposes of helping law enforcement prosecute criminal activity or escape physical and mental abuse suffered as a result of criminal activity. Two specific guidelines create particular legal challenges for those applying for U nonimmigrant status and those who have been granted this status.

At The Tellez Law Firm, PLLC, we have considerable experience helping victims of crime gain entry to the United States and remain here while escaping from or assisting in the prosecution of criminal activity. Our attorneys are incredibly sensitive to the situations our clients are going through and will not only provide emotional support during these trying times, but will also guide you through the entire immigration process, from beginning to end, to ensure your rights and future immigration status are protected.

U Visa Caps

Like many immigration visas offered in the U.S., there is a cap on the number of U visas granted each year. Once the current cap of 10,000 is reached, principal petitioners who are considered eligible for a U visa are placed on a waiting list and will be granted a visa when one becomes available.

It's important to understand that while there is a cap set for principal petitioners, there is no cap on derivative petitioners — eligible spouses, children or other family members of the principal petitioner.

U Visa Extensions

The U.S. government understands that, in some cases, criminal investigations can take substantial time to develop and work their way through the judicial system. As such, this can create conflicts with U visa holders. As such, extensions are available for U nonimmigrant status that last for four years. However, the statutory limit on the extension may be extended further under specific circumstances such as:

  • A request is made by law enforcement
  • Exceptional circumstances warrant a need
  • Consular processing delays
  • Filing and pendency of an application for adjustment of status

Get Help From Lawyers Who Understand Your Needs

We have extensive experience handling a wide range of immigration matters here at The Tellez Law Firm, PLLC. We understand the law and how to navigate the complexities of the immigration system with relative ease. Additionally, we regularly stay up to date on government policy changes as well as adjudication trends so we can better explain your rights and the process as well as serve all your needs.

If you have questions about U visa caps and extensions or need help applying for a U visa for yourself or a family member, please feel free to reach out to The Tellez Law Firm, PLLC. We help individuals and families from all walks of life, cultures and ethnic backgrounds throughout the Austin area and across Texas. Contact us online, or call us at 512-774-6832 and schedule an initial consultation.