VOLUME 28 NO. 3 | JANUARY 10 - JANUARY 16, 2009

Visas for victims can lead to green cards

Last updated 1-8-09 at 1:33 p.m.

By Staff
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 of admission.

“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 enforcement’s ability 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.


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