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DISCLAIMER: This information is meant to provide general information about domestic violence and immigration relief. Please consult with an attorney or other legal agency for more details about any legal questions you have about your immigration issues.

If you are a victim of a serious crime and you are willing to cooperate with law enforcement, you may apply for a U-Visa. Through the U-Visa you may:

  • be able to attain non-immigrant status in the U.S. for 3 years and can possibly be extended to 4 years.
  • obtain authorization for employment
  • possibly become a permanent resident after 3-4 years as a U-Visa holder. After becoming a legal permanent resident, you may be able to start the process to become a US citizen in 5 years
  • be eligible for CalWORKs, Medi-Cal
  • get deportation process terminated

U Visa Process

STEP 1: find a legal services office with expertise in U visas to handle your application.

STEP 2: Prepare application w/ attorney [takes about a month]

STEP 3: submit application to Vermont Service Center (I-918, I-192, I-765)

  • open case with CALWorks if you are eligible for CALWorks

STEP 4: get a receipt

  • based on that receipt, your application is complete with CALWorks and you can start receiving benefits

STEP 5: U visa approved [w/in 1+ yr of filing]

  • receive U visa status which lasts for 3 to 4 yrs
  • you get a work permit that lasts for 3 yrs

STEP 6: you can apply for a green card 3 years after you get your U visa

STEP 7: you can apply for citizenship 5 years after you get your green card


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