Crime victims may suffer serious psychological and emotional trauma—especially those who endured a serious crime such as human trafficking, domestic violence, or sexual assault. Sadly, many vulnerable victims feel they lack options for justice due to their immigration status. An undocumented person may worry that they will be deported if they seek help or report the crime.
The good news is that there is hope. The United States immigration system offers some options for relief of crime victims, including for undocumented crime victims. At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we want to make sure that immigrants in Massachusetts know their rights. Here, our Boston immigration lawyers discuss the primary immigration options for crime victims.
Understanding the Three Primary Immigration Options for Crime Victims
The U visa is the primary immigration option for victims of crime. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) describes the U visa as an immigration visa set for certain crime victims who have “suffered mental or physical abuse” and were “helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.” To qualify for a U visa in Boston, a petitioner must cooperate with federal, state, or local law enforcement. When it is granted a U visa offers full protection against deportation. U visas are valid for four years and they are renewable.
A T visa is another important immigration option for victims of crime. This type of visa is set aside for victims of human trafficking. Similar to a U visa, a T visa requires adequate cooperation with law enforcement and/or prosecutors. Notably, with a T visa, a crime victim can also get immigration protection for some immediate family members. If you have any questions about T visas, please do not hesitate to contact our Boston immigration attorney for help.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law focused on preventing domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes against women. In the context of immigration law, VAWA provides options for victims of domestic violence—particularly immigrants who have suffered abuse at the hands of their American citizen or lawful permanent residence partner. Among other things, the Violence Against Women Act allows one to self petition to become a lawful permanent resident without interference by an abusive spouse/partner. If you have any questions about your rights under the law, our Boston VAWA immigration attorney can help.
Call Our Boston, MA Immigration Attorneys for Legal Guidance and Support
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are committed to representing clients with care, sensitivity, compassion, and the highest degree of professional skill. If you have any questions about U visas, T visas, or VAWA’s immigration provisions, our attorneys are more than ready to help. Get in touch with us now for a completely confidential review of your case. With an office in Boston, we represent clients throughout New England, including in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine.