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U Visa Information

Home > Departments > C.C.S.P.D. > U Visa Information

U Visa Information – Law Enforcement Certifications

What is a U nonimmigrant visa (also known as a U Visa)?

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA) of 2000 was enacted to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute serious crimes and trafficking in persons, while offering protections to victims of such crimes without the immediate risk of being removed from the country. A U-Visa is a temporary visa issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to victims of certain crimes, providing temporary legal status and eligibility to work in the United States for up to 4 years.

Who is eligible for a U Visa?

USCIS may find an applicant eligible for a U Visa if the applicant:

Additional information, including applicable forms, may be found through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services here.

Qualifying Criminal Activities

The following are qualifying criminal activities: Rape; torture; trafficking; incest; domestic violence; sexual assault; abusive sexual conduct; prostitution; sexual exploitation; female genital mutilation; being held hostage; peonage; involuntary servitude; slave trade; kidnapping; abduction; unlawful criminal restraint; false imprisonment; blackmail; extortion; manslaughter; murder; felonious assault; witness tampering; obstruction of justice; perjury; fraud in foreign labor contracting; stalking; any similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially similar; or the attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above and other related crimes. Additionally, crimes that are “substantially similar” to those listed above may also qualify.
Not many people are aware that the unauthorized practice of law could be a qualifying criminal activity for purposes of U Visa certification.  This problem occurs when immigrants go to a notary public seeking legal advice, and these notary publics file fraudulent claims.  Many unsuspecting consumers of immigration services fall prey to “consultants” and notary publics who hold themselves out as legal professionals and falsely claim that the immigrant is eligible to legalize their immigration status.  The unauthorized practice of immigration law occurs when those who are not attorneys or accredited representatives:

The following are possible crimes associated with the Unauthorized Practice of Law: blackmail; extortion; obstruction of justice; perjury; witness tampering; or attempts or conspiracies to do any of the above.  

Submitting U Visa Certifications (USCIS Form I-918, Supplement B) to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Please follow the following procedures prior to submitting a U-Visa Certification request to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office:

To submit a request for U Visa certification to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, please forward your request in writing with all supporting documentation to:
CCSO Legal Department
ATTN: Elizabeth Scannell
50 W. Washington, Room 704
Chicago, IL 60608

Please include as much detail as possible with your submission, including but not limited to:

Please include a return address and contact information with your submission.

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