This advisory lays out some of the main “pros” and “cons” to applying for U nonimmigrant status for crime victims as they exist now, to help prospective applicants weigh the benefits and risks of applying. “Pros” include direct benefits of temporary lawful status, employment authorization, protection from removal, a pathway to a green card that is not barred by almost any grounds of inadmissibility, and the ability to help family members obtain immigration status. Additional “pros” include special confidentiality provisions, eligibility for public benefits, eligibility for the Central American Minors program, and special consideration by ICE, among other collateral benefits. “Cons” include very long processing times and vulnerability to divergent discretionary decisions during fluctuations in enforcement priorities and other policies in the many years it takes to get a decision.
U Visa/T Visa/VAWA