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What Crimes Prevent You from Getting a U Visa?

The U visa allows certain crime victims to obtain a visa when they help in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. This is an excellent visa to get. However, some applicants are denied because they have personally committed crimes in the past. Under immigration law, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can declare you “inadmissible” based on past criminal activity. That would prevent you from receiving a U visa. Call Vanderwall Immigration.

Are You Admissible to the United States?

As explained on the USCIS page, you are eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if you are the victim of qualifying criminal activity and help law enforcement or the government with investigation or prosecution.

However, you also must be admissible to the United States. Perpetrating certain crimes can make you inadmissible:

  • Crimes of moral turpitude
  • Drug offenses
  • Multiple criminal convictions

What Are Crimes of Moral Turpitude?

This category refers to crimes that are inherently depraved or immoral. They typically include:

  • Homicide
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Robbery
  • Theft
  • Kidnapping
  • Aggravated assault
  • Fraud
  • Child abuse
  • Spousal abuse

This is an incomplete list. Schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney at Vanderwall Immigration to review.

Drug Offenses

A drug offense can also prevent you from receiving a U visa:

  • Possession
  • Possession with intent to distribute
  • Manufacture
  • Transportation

Getting caught with even small amounts of controlled substances can result in inadmissibility, which means you aren’t eligible for a U visa. Some applicants wrongly believe that small amounts of drugs are excused. But any drug offenses could render you inadmissible.

Inadmissibility for Multiple Convictions

Lastly, you might be inadmissible if you have two or more convictions, and the full sentences add up to at least 5 years. In this category, it doesn’t matter what crime you committed. They don’t need to be crimes of moral turpitude. Instead, they could be misdemeanors when the sentences are stacked and add up to 5 or more years.

Next Steps: Seeking a Waiver, if Necessary

Getting declared inadmissible is not the end of your journey. You might still qualify for a U visa by requesting a waiver from USCIS. You can complete Form I-192 and submit supporting documents.

USCIS has complete discretion about whether to grant the waiver. Typically, applicants must convince USCIS that it’s in the nation’s best interest to grant the waiver.

Generally, successful applicants have shown how they can help law enforcement investigate or prosecute serious crimes. Other factors include the trauma you have suffered, as well as your ties to the United States. For example, you might have dependent minors living in the U.S. whom you could support.

Call an Immigration Lawyer

Crime victims should be protected when they help law enforcement investigate and prosecute criminals. Don’t let certain criminal acts in your own background prevent you from obtaining a U visa and the ability to work in the United States. Call Vanderwall Immigration today. Si hablamos Espanol. We can meet to discuss your situation in a consultation with one of our lawyers.