WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A U VISA?
USCIS may find an individual eligible for a U visa if the victim:
- Is the direct or indirect victim of qualifying criminal activity that occurred in the United States or violated United States laws; and
- Has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity; and
- Has information about criminal activity; and
- Was helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to the NJSP, prosecutors, judges, or other officials in the detection, investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of the criminal activity; and
- Additionally, the victim must be admissible to the United States based on a review of his/her criminal history, immigration violations, and other factors. If found inadmissible, an individual may apply for a waiver of inadmissibility for which he/she may be eligible.
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR THE NJSP TO UTILIZE WHEN CONSIDERING COMPLETION OF A CERTIFICATION ON BEHALF OF A U-VISA APPLICANT?
To qualify for a U visa, the individual seeking such status must prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that he/she meets the criteria for a U visa, as specified above.
One of the primary ways that a victim may demonstrate law enforcement cooperation is to obtain a signed certification form from the NJSP. This certification, which is titled “Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification” (USCIS Form I-918), is required for an application for a U visa to be considered by USCIS.
HOW DOES AN APPLICANT FOR A U VISA OBTAIN A CERTIFICATION FROM THE NJSP?
Qualifying victims who are seeking a U visa may contact the primary investigating NJSP trooper or detective and request that he/she complete a certification form. It must be emphasized that the NJSP has no legal obligation to complete the certification.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS THAT THE NJSP UTILIZES FOR DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT TO COMPLETE THE CERTIFICATION IN SUPPORT OF THE U VISA APPLICANT?
Prior to completing a certification, the request will be reviewed by the NJSP. If a prosecution is involved, the NJSP may work with the appropriate prosecutorial authority to determine if the certification form is appropriate for endorsement.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES THE NJSP HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION REGARDING THE REQUEST?
The NJSP has 120 days from the date the request was submitted to them to vet the request and decide as to whether to complete the certification.
NOTIFYING THE APPLICANT OF THE DECISION:
Once a decision has been made by the certifying officer or the Prosecutor (as appropriate) as to whether to issue and sign a certification, the applicant will be notified of that decision and given the signed certification form (USCIS form I-918, Supplement B). This certification may also be given to the victim’s legal representation, if applicable.
WHO HAS THE FINAL AUTHORITY TO ISSUE A U VISA?
Only USCIS has the authority to grant or deny a person’s U visa application.
For a list of qualifying crimes and for further information, please refer to the “U and T visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide” [PDF]