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Can I (or my loved one) apply for a U visa?

Despite the massive efforts being made to stop or cut down on international crime and crime right here in the U.S., people still get caught up in illegal activity. Getting arrested, charged and convicted of a crime can come with a whole host of negative consequences, including deportation or removal from the U.S.

For a wide variety of reasons, people come to Florida and other states in the country and engage in criminal activities. However, if you have engaged in certain crimes or are the victim of certain crimes, you may actually be eligible for a U visa which can allow you to stay in the U.S. It is important to note, though, that U visa application and eligibility requirements can be quite complicated.

To begin with, a U visa is only available to victims of specific crimes. These crimes include: sexual exploitation, trafficking, kidnapping, blackmail, extortion, felonious assault, torture among others.

If you don't consider yourself a traditional victim but have knowledge of these crimes because you are somehow involved in or affected by them, you may still be eligible for a U visa. 

In either case, a key factor in securing a visa involves helping or being willing to help law enforcement agencies in the investigation and/or prosecution efforts of the crime. What this actually involves will depend on your role, the crime and the needs of the law enforcement agents.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will receive a U visa just because you feel that you meet these criteria. There is a cap on how many of these visas are available every year and there are many more pieces of the U visa application process that you will need to complete.

Considering all that is at stake in situations involving both immigration and criminal activity, it can be crucial to have legal guidance as you try and figure out your options. This can be especially true if you want to stay in the U.S. For information on U visas and other types of visas that may be available, it can be wise to speak with an immigration attorney.

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Our firm is a recognized leader in immigration law and litigation. We handle the spectrum from family and employment-based visas to deportation defense and immigration appeals. Founding partner Ira Kurzban authored the Immigration Law Sourcebook, widely used by immigration lawyers, judges and government officials as the authoritative field reference.

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