ACL 08-15: Department Of Homeland Security Interim Final Rule On New Classification For Victims Of Criminal Activity; Eligibility For U Nonimmigrant Status (4/4/08)

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000 created U Nonimmigrant Status for certain victims of criminal activity. The feds created U Visa Interim Relief, since U Visa regulations not forthcoming. (See ACL No. 06-60 and ACIN No. I-41-07). An Interim Final Rule regarding New Classification for Victims of Criminal Activity and Eligibility for U Nonimmigrant Status has now been issued, effective October 17, 2007.

Now that an Interim Final Rule has been issued, USCIS stopped accepting U Visa Interim Relief applications after October 17, 2007. New applicants for SB 1569 benefits must now present evidence that they have filed for a U Visa (or have obtained one) if they do not have proof that they filed for U Visa Interim Relief before October 17, 2007. The letter includes an exemplary list of acceptable evidence. (Forms I-797, I-918, Form I-797; employment Authorization Document Category A19 or A20, etc.)

USCIS has indicated that petitioners who have previously been granted interim relief and have filed a Form I-918 for a U Visa will have their interim relief extended until USCIS completes its adjudication of the application. Therefore, cases determined eligible based on a request for U Visa Interim Relief prior to October 17, 2007 may remain eligible if a U Visa application has been filed (or a U Visa has been issued) or until a denial of interim relief has been issued. USCIS anticipates issuing the Final Rule on nonimmigrant U Visas sometime in the fall of 2008. [Download]