VAWA and U
Topics include information on how to advocate locally on behalf of unaccompanied minors.
The interim guidance recently issued by USCIS provides much needed security for immigrant crime victims and their families. However, as the advocates note in comments to USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez, issues still remain related to the agency’s interpretation of the two new U visa qualifying crimes -- stalking and fraud in foreign labor contracting. Additionally, the advocates request that USCIS provide more detail on implementation of age-out provisions and grant parole to conditionally granted U visa derivatives after the U visa cap has been reached each year.
By Matthew Seamon
On June 4, 2014, USCIS hosted a “listening session” teleconference regarding U nonimmigrant status visas. U visas provide immigration protection for victims of qualifying crimes who aid law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. USCIS is engaging in rulemaking to modify the U visa application and eligibility rules and sought comments and feedback from immigration advocates and other stakeholders.
On January 10, 2013, CLINIC shared comments on USCIS’s policy memo, “Age-Out Protection for Derivative U Nonimmigrant Status Holders: Pending Petitions, Initial Approvals, and Extension of Status.” CLINIC welcomes the issuance of the guidance, as this policy will provide much needed security for the immigrant crime victims and their families that CLINIC members serve. We are encouraged by USCIS’ statement that the preservation of family unity is a benefit to law enforcement. The policy provides important protections for U visa derivatives who age out after the approval of the principal’
On January 10, 2013, CLINIC shared comments with USCIS on its guidance entitled “Eligibility for Employment Authorization upon Approval of a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self- Petition; and, Eligibility for Employment Authorization for Battered Spouses of Certain Nonimmigrants.” CLINIC’s comments addressed concerns regarding the employment authorization process for approved VAWA beneficiaries, as well as the eligibility for employment authorization for battered spouses of A, E (iii), G, and H nonimmigrants. To read the full comments,