Each year 10,000 U visas are available for victims of certain qualifying crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and cooperate with authorities to investigate or prosecute those crimes.
It is important to note that although USCIS has reached the statutory cap of 10,000 U visas, it continues to review pending petitions for eligibility and accept new petitions.
Those who are eligible but cannot be granted the U visa solely because of the cap will be placed on a waiting list and can apply for employment authorization until more visas become available.
Congress created the U visa program to strengthen the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute criminal cases while offering protection to undocumented victims who may otherwise be afraid to report crimes due to their undocumented status.
More than 126,000 individuals and their family members have received U visas since the program began in 2008.