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U-Visa Applications by Evelia Romero: Home

Immigration - U Visa Applications


Welcome Everyone,

My Name is Evelia Romero and I am a J.D. Candidate (2017) at Ave Maria School of Law. I aspire to become a Immigration attorney and really enjoy finding out more about our immigration system. This research guide is designed to educate on the purpose and procedures of filing a U Nonimmigrant Visa  (U-Visa) application.  

The U Visa application is for individuals who have been a victim of a qualifying serious violent crime in the United States and has suffered  "substantial physical or mental abuse" as a result. This guide is not intended to circumvent the need to seek an Attorney's assistance when filing your U Nonimmigrant Visa but rather to educate on the process and provide information on its existence and potential availability to the victim(s)



Immigration History

Immigration is a controversial topic. We will begin by discussing the history of Immigration in the United States.  American Immigration history in four different time periods: the colonial period, the mid-19th century, the post-1965 the start of the 20th century. Each period brought distinct national groups, races and ethnicities to the United States. During the 17th century, approximately 400,000 English people migrated to Colonial America. [1] Over half of all European immigrants to Colonial America during the 17th and 18th centuries arrived as indentured servants. The mid-18th century saw mainly an influx from northern Europe; the early 20th-century mainly from Southern and Eastern Europe; post-1965 mostly from Latin America and Asia.

The main statute governing U.S. immigration law is the Immigration Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) also known as the McCarran Walter Act.  The act governs primarily immigration to and citizenship in the United States. Prior to this act, a variety several statues governed immigration law but they were not organized within one body of text. Today this act has been amended  several times but remains valid.  Other immigration Acts include The Dream Act which provided legal residency and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who graduate from U.S. high schools ad attend college or join the military.

As immigration is is necessary to understand the immigration laws and visas that are out there. In this libguide I will focus on the U-visa but will also provide information for other ways to obtain a residency.

[1] James Horn, Leaving England: The Social Background of Indentured Servants in the Seventeenth Century, 1994 Virtual Jamestown (1994),  http://www.virtual

Below is a video by a Professor of Cornell University on history overview on immigration on the Untied States.



U-Visa Background Information

Background Information 

"The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 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 aliens and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes. "[1]

The VTVPA was enacted 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 offering protection to victims of such crimes without the immediate risk of being removed from the country. Congress also sought to encourage law enforcement officials to serve immigrant crime victims.[2]

[1]Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security (no date) Victims of Criminal Activity: U Nonimmigrant Status. Available at: (Accessed: 18 July 2015)

[2] VTVPA, Pub.L. No. 106-386, § 1513(a)(2)(A), 114 Stat. 1464, 1533-34 (2000). See also New Classification for 



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The material on our research guide’s website is intended to provide only general information and comment to our clients and the public. This research guide is created for educational purposes only. Although we make our best efforts to ensure that the information found on our website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee that the information is either. Nor do we guarantee the accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provides links.

Do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found on our website as legal advice. Legal matters are often complicated. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information and materials provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances. For assistance with your specific legal problem or inquiry please contact a knowledgeable lawyer, who practices in your area of need and would be pleased to determine whether she or he can assist you. The State Bar Association is ordinarily a good source for referrals for competent attorneys.


No Lawyer-Client Relationship Created

This guide does not create in any way, shape or form an attorney-client relationship. Once again, no attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. In addition, any information sent by email through the internet is not confidential and does not create a lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary, relationship.

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