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Humanitarian Visas: Asylum & U-Visa


Individuals arriving in the U.S. may apply for asylum or refugee status for temporary residence in the U.S. based on humanitarian grounds. Individuals must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, nationality, religion, political opinion or membership in or identification with a particular social group which would subject that individual to persecution.

Applications typically should be made within one year of arriving in the U.S.  While asylees granted temporary residence are not required to file for permanent residence within one year, refugees are required to file for permanent residence status after one year of being granted temporary status.

Work authorization is generally granted to the asylee or refugee along with temporary residence. Spouses and children, if not already accompanying the asylee or refugee, may join at a later time.

Please contact our immigration law firm office if you have questions about U.S. asylum or refugee laws.


U visas are non-immigrant visas that are available to certain victims of criminal activity in the United States. In order for a person to be eligible for a U visa, the crime that occurred must have been a qualifying crime.

An important qualifying factor for a U visa is that the applicant must possess information about the criminal activity of which he or she was a victim, and must have providing or have provided help to law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of that crime(s)

The benefits of applying for a U visa include the fact that a person who receives this visa is eligible to apply for his or her green card after having the U visa for at least three years. Additionally, a person who applies for a U visa can include qualifying relatives in their application. If the U visa applicant is under 21 years of age, he or she can petition for a spouse, children, parents, and unmarried siblings. If the applicant is 21 or over, he or she can petition for a spouse and children.

Please contact our office if you have questions about U.S. asylum or refugee laws.