Visas for victims can lead to green cards
Last updated 1-8-09 at 1:33 p.m.
Northwest Asian Weekly
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have announced
the implementation of a rule that will allow “T” and “U” nonimmigrants
to adjust their status and become lawful permanent residents.
The interim final rule implements the provisions
of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of
2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability
of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases
of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of persons,
and other crimes while at the same time offering protection
to victims of such crimes.
The “T” nonimmigrant status, also known as the “T” visa,
was created to provide immigration protection to victims of
a severe form of human trafficking. The “U” nonimmigrant
status, or “U” visa, is designated for victims of
certain crimes who have suffered mental
or physical abuse as a result and who are
willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in
the investigation of the criminal activity.
In order to apply for an adjustment of
status, a nonimmigrant currently with the “U” visa
status must have been physically present
in the United States for a continuous period
of at least three years since the date
“The action we are taking will further humanitarian interests
by protecting victims of human trafficking
and victims of other serious crimes,” said USCIS Acting
Deputy Director Mike Aytes. “We also believe that law
to investigate and prosecute crimes is
enhanced when we can provide important
immigration benefits to victims.”(end)
The interim final rule is currently available for public
review at www.uscis.gov.