U Visas and VAWA

Immigration Attorneys for U Visa and VAWA Applications

Lawyers Serving Immigrant Victims of Violent Crimes, Domestic Violence, and Other Serious Matters

Immigrating to the United States is a complicated process that requires a significant investment of time and resources without any guarantees of success, even under the best of circumstances. Unfortunately, some immigrants face additional hardships and challenges after experiencing domestic violence or being the victim of a violent crime while in the United States.

Immigration attorney Mary Helen Reyna understands the challenges that victims of violent crimes and domestic violence may experience, in addition to the strong emotions they are likely to feel. Ms. Reyna provides compassionate and effective advocacy on behalf of every immigration law client she represents, by focusing on their individual needs and priorities. You can depend on Reyna Law Office, P.C. to provide effective representation in immigration matters.

U Visas

The U Visa is a relatively new type of immigration path available to victims of violent crimes. U Visas were introduced to address the issue of undocumented immigrants choosing not to report crimes out of fear they would be deported. The U Visa program is designed to relieve that fear and deter criminals from targeting immigrants who are more vulnerable than citizens or legal residents. After an individual has been granted a U Visa, which provides them with temporary residence status, he or she may apply for a green card after three years.

As with other types of visas, there are requirements that must be met before a client is eligible to obtain one of the 10,000 U Visas available each year. One requirement is that the applicant is a victim of one of the offenses on the list of qualifying crimes as outlined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Another requirement is proof of physical or psychological injury. The third requirement is cooperation with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

Ms. Reyna can assist individuals in gathering the evidence and taking the steps necessary to satisfy the U Visa requirements. Ms. Reyna can also help U Visa holders obtain waivers for immigration violations or other laws if needed, as well as assist individuals facing deportation in applying for a U Visa.

Domestic Violence and the Violence Against Women Act

Domestic violence is a serious problem for undocumented women who are in the United States. An immigrant who is the victim of domestic violence may be afraid to report the abuse out of fear she will face deportation or compromise her immigration case. This situation prompts many women to keep the abuse a secret, further increasing their risk of serious injuries or death at the hands of their abusers.

Although many immigrants experience physical abuse, there are many situations that fall into the category of domestic abuse where the actions cause emotional or psychological harm. Many immigrant women do not realize that this type of abuse may also allow them to qualify for a U Visa. Extreme cruelty counts as domestic violence, including behavior that serves to control or isolate the victim.

A female immigrant who is a victim of domestic violence may be struggling with immigration issues, deportation issues, family law issues, and other issues. Ms. Reyna is prepared to help victims of domestic violence in obtaining relief from the abuse and, possibly, becoming United States citizens. In accordance with the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), there are options available to immigrants who have suffered from domestic violence. VAWA enables battered women to pursue permanent residency and citizenship for themselves and their children on their own, without having to rely on their abusers.

Additionally, battered women and their children may seek relief from deportation through the cancellation of removal from the country under the provisions of VAWA. Ms. Reyna will guide victims of domestic violence through the process and seek the best possible outcome for their unique situation.

Serving the Needs of Violent Crime and Domestic Violence Victims in Illinois

Many crime victims with uncertain immigration statuses are afraid to take any action, but Ms. Reyna can help get individuals relief from the abuse and pursue the immigration options available to them. Contact Reyna Law Office, P.C. at 630-759-0101 to schedule an appointment.

Bolingbrook Office
536 W. Boughton Road, Suite C, Bolingbrook, IL 60440
Joliet Office
58 N. Chicago Street, 7th Floor, Joliet, IL 60432