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.