According to the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services, the overall U Visa approval rate in 2020 was 77.1%, which means only 22.9% of U Visa applications were denied nationwide.
In the same year, in North Carolina, the U Visa approval rate was 86%, with a denial rate of only 14%. Since 2016, North Carolina has achieved one of the highest U Visa approval rates in the country.
Although the approval rates remain relatively high nationwide and in North Carolina, the U Visa application process is nonetheless challenging and complex.
This blog will discuss a brief overview of what a U Visa is, the most common reasons for a U Visa denial, and what you can do to improve your chances of success.
If you are contemplating filing a U Visa application, we strongly encourage you to speak with an experienced immigration attorney. Whether you live locally in North Carolina or elsewhere throughout the U.S., our team at EMP Law can assist you.
Get in touch with us today by calling (336) 724-2828.
What Is a U Visa?
Before diving into the common reasons for U Visa denials and what you can do to improve your odds of success, it is essential to understand just what a U Visa is.
The U Visa is an immigration benefit for victims of certain crimes who meet specific eligibility criteria. If you are the victim of a crime, you could be eligible for a U Visa.
Generally, to qualify, you must:
- Be the victim of a serious qualifying crime that occurred in the United States or its territories;
- Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the criminal activity; and
- Have information about the crime that is or will be helpful to law enforcement or the investigating agency.
If you qualify for a U Visa, it can extend to your immediate family members, including your spouse and children.
However, a U Visa does not apply to all crimes. It is generally reserved for serious crimes such as murder, rape, kidnapping, and domestic violence.
If you are the victim of a crime and wondering if you might qualify for a U Visa, it is imperative to speak with an attorney.
U Visa Denial reasons
There are many reasons why a U Visa application might be denied.
The most common reasons are:
- Inadmissibility (i.e., certain applicants are inadmissible on specific grounds, including prior immigration violations or criminal history);
- Inaccurate, missing, or insufficient evidence or documentation;
- Abandonment of the petition;
- The petitioner did not demonstrate a qualifying crime; and
- The petitioner did not show substantial physical or mental harm.
Lastly, a common reason for denial is the petitioner’s failure to cooperate with the necessary authorities or hold up their end of the bargain. Part of the qualifying process is to cooperate and provide the required information and evidence for law enforcement to investigate the crime. If you fail to cooperate, your application can be denied.
How Can You Improve Your Chance of U Visa Approval?
We are often asked what our clients can do to improve their chances of a successful U Visa application and prevent a denial.
The best way to improve your odds of success is to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
Aside from seeking the advice of legal counsel, we also recommend the following:
- Gather and keep organized all relevant supporting documents to be included with your application;
- Provide accurate and complete documentation;
- Cooperate fully with law enforcement and authorities; and
- Do not commit any crimes or violate any immigration laws.
Contact us to learn more about what you can do to prevent a denial.
EMP Law: North Carolina and Nationwide Immigration Attorneys
At EMP Law, we have over 140 years of combined experience helping those facing even the most complex legal challenges, including immigration concerns and U Visa applications.
A U Visa can significantly impact your life in both a positive and negative way. Don’t gamble with your life. Let our experienced immigration lawyers help you. Contact us today at (336) 724-2828 or reach us online today.