Law Enforcement Visas (S, T and U visas)

Sometimes foreign individuals may become involved in criminal cases and become helpful in investigations later on. Law enforcement agencies may help people obtain visas, which allow them to remain in the U.S. based on their cooperation with the law enforcement forces.

 

S

 

S visas are available to informants and witnesses who are aiding the U.S. law enforcement with their work. The informant's immediate family members may be granted S visas as well. A U.S. Attorney's office or a state law enforcement agency may request permanent residence (a green card) for S visa holders.

 

T

 

T visas are for people who have been the victims of human trafficking. These visas are available to victims who entered the country as a result of human trafficking and are now cooperating with law enforcement investigation. They must be admissible people, but if they are inadmissible, they may apply for a waiver. T visa holders may be eligible for permanent residency (green card) after living in the U.S. for three years after the issuance of a T visa.

 

U

 

U visas are available for people who are witnesses or victims of serious crimes. These people are allowed to stay in the country for the purpose of helping U.S. law enforcement by providing testimony or evidence. In order to qualify for a U visa, one must be a direct witness or victim of the crime. A bystander or indirect crime victim would not usually qualify for a U visa, but they may qualify if they prove they have been and will continue to be helpful to the investigation, or if they would face danger if forced to leave. Direct or indirect crime victims must be admissible or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility. Certain family members of U visa applicants may also be able to remain in the country under the U visa.

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