U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved 10,000 U visas for the fifth fiscal year 2014. USCIS began issuing U visas in the year 2008. Every year, the agency makes available 10,000 U visas for the victims of certain crimes.
Immigrants who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse can apply for these visas. To apply for U visas, such victims of crimes must be willing to help the law enforcement authorities to investigate and prosecute those crimes.
The U.S. Congress created this U visa program to strengthen the ability of the law enforcement agencies to investigate cases of crimes like domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault. This program will also assist the victims of such crimes. This program has so far benefited 89,600 victims of crimes, according to the USCIS.
USCIS has already issued 10,000 U visas and the agency has now announced that it will continue to review pending applications. USCIS will send letters to eligible petitioners whose applications for U visas are pending, stating that they are on a waiting list to receive U visas. Visas will be issued to such applicants once visas become available.
However, applicants and their family members need to meet a variety of eligibility requirements. Visas will be issued only to those who meet the requirements at the time the visas are issued. USCIS will start issuing U visas again when visas become available on 1st October, 2014.