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USCIS Approves 10,000 U Visas for 7th Year in a Row

Jan12
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USCIS Approves 10,000 U Visas for 7th Year in a Row

For fiscal year 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) again approved the statutory maximum of 10,000 petitions for U-1 nonimmigrant status (U visas). This marks the seventh straight year that USCIS has reached its statutory maximum.

The U visa is available to certain immigrant crime victims who assisted law enforcement to investigate or prosecute those crimes. Among other requirements, the U visa petition requires a signature from law enforcement certifying that the potential U visa applicant was indeed helpful in the investigation of criminal activity. After obtaining the required certification, the applicant may then petition USCIS for U-1 nonimmigrant status. Each year, USCIS may approve up to 10,000 U visa petitions.

Although excellent news overall that the government again approved the statutory maximum number of U visa petitions, this means that USCIS will place all of the unadjudicated petitions on a waiting list. And the wait is long. We currently have clients who have been waiting over one year for USCIS to adjudicate their petitions.

Fortunately, at some point during the wait list process, USCIS will conduct a preliminary adjudication of the petition and send a letter to eligible applicants notifying them that they have been “pre-approved” for U visa status and will receive a U visa when visas again become available.

USCIS will resume issuing U visas on October 1, 2016, the first day of fiscal year 2017.

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COVID-19 Update

Effective March 25, 2020, in response to “Stay at Home” orders Joseph & Hall PC is closed to the public and is now conducting nearly all of its operations remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis through April 18th.

We continue to have a limited number of staff in our office to perform basic operations such as assembling and filing petitions, receiving and distributing mail and issuing checks. We are grateful to be in a business that is conducive to remote work and for all of your patience and support.  Our lawyers and paralegals are here to answer the array of questions that continue to arise daily and will keep you informed during these rapidly changing times.  We will hold telephonic or video meetings rather than in-person meetings.  These meetings can be done by SKYPE or Zoom Conference call so that you can continue to interact with your legal team, face-to-face.

We remain committed to delivering outstanding client services.  We do have one important request – please do not come into the office in person for your health and safety and that of our employees.  Please mail or email all documents to our office.  Also, you can make any required payments online at https://vpspay.com/p/3 or make them over the phone by calling 303-297-9171 or by mail.  Please stay healthy!

 

 

 

 

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