USCIS has approved the congressionally mandated annual limit of 10,000 petitions for U nonimmigrant status for victims of certain crimes committed in the United States who assist law enforcement authorities. Although USCIS cannot grant any more U visas in fiscal year (FY) 2017, we will continue to review pending petitions for eligibility for potential visa issuance when more visas become available in FY 2018 beginning on Oct. 1, 2017.

Petitioners and qualifying family members must continue to meet eligibility requirements at the time a U visa becomes available.

Congress created the U visa program to strengthen law enforcement’s ability to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and other serious crimes. Each year, 10,000 U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to help law enforcement authorities investigate or prosecute those crimes.

A U visa petition requires certification by a law enforcement agency that the victim has been helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying crime.


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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).