The U visa is given to those who are victims of certain crimes. 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, at the same time, offer protection to victims of such crimes. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes.

While the visa has been a blessing for many, the fact that only 10,000 are issued, with around 30,000 applications a year has created a huge backlog for those who are waiting for this visa. See quarterly U visa (form I-918) data chart from USCIS released on March 21 2016. Based on this chart, it seems that applicants of U visas will have to wait around 2 to 3 years to obtain a work permit aka Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Many of the victims are already struggling with stress from being victims, having them wait two to three years for a work permit is just inhuman. We call on Congress, and President Obama to act and increase the U visa to 20,000 or more.



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Shah Peerally is an attorney licensed in California practicing immigration law and debt settlement. He has featured as an expert legal analyst for many TV networks such as NDTV, Times Now and Sitarree TV. Articles about Shah Peerally and his work have appeared on newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, US Fiji Times, Mauritius Le Quotidien, Movers & Shakers and other prominent international newspapers. His work has been commended by Congress women Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee. He has a weekly radio show on KLOK 1170AM and frequently participates in legal clinics in churches, temples and mosques. His law group, Shah Peerally Law Group, has represented clients all over the United States constantly dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Custom Enforcement(ICE) and CBP (Customs Border Patrol (CBP) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This department was formerly known as the Immigration and Nationality Services (INS).