Effective October 17, 2007, there are changes to the requirements and procedures related to the U classification, which was established for alien victims of certain criminal activity who assist government officials in investigating or prosecuting the underlying crimes.
The changes have been made to reinforce the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute such crimes. In summary, the new rule allows aliens seeking the U non-immigrant status to request a waiver of inadmissibility and provides an opportunity to change one’s status to that of U nonimmigrant, and ultimately to adjust status to permanent resident, among other things. The new rule prohibits adverse determinations of admissibility or deportability and disclosing information pertaining to aliens seeking U nonimmigrant status, except in certain circumstances.
Those eligible for U visa status file self petitions and may petition for their family members under certain circumstances. The USCIS encourages alien victims who have been granted interim relief to file for U status within 180 days of the effective date of the interim final rule (October 17, 2007). After October 17, 2007, the USCIS will not issue interim relief. If the petition was properly filed, the USCIS will extend interim relief until the adjudication of the U petition is completed.