BIA Administratively Closed a U-Visa Case

BIA Administratively Closed a U-Visa Case

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08/11/2014


In an unpublished decision, BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) administratively closed a case of removal proceeding based on the approval of U-visa application by the United Stated Citizenship and Immigration Service (U.S.C.I.S.).1

U visa is a non-immigrant status for victims of qualifying crimes as defined in Immigration and Nationality Act. Each year, 10,000 U-visas are issued. This type of visa is part of the response to human trafficking in the recent decade.2

Applicants must establish that he or she suffered serious and substantial injury due to the violent crime. In addition, relevant provisions require applicants to establish, by certification of local law enforcement, that he or she is likely, is being or will be helpful to local law enforcement. U-visa, once granted, lasts for no more than four years and may be renewed. The application includes work authorization and three years after the initial grant, the U-visa holder may apply for permanent residence.2

U-visa may not be renewed or applied for during removal proceeding. Thus, the applicants must secure an approved motion to continue from the court.2&3

In the recent case, though the applicant’s motion to continue was denied by the immigration judge, the Board of Immigration Appeals still decided to close the case. Though the U.S.C.I.S. could not issue a U-visa immediately, the application was approved and placed in the pool of deferred actions. Thus, the BIA found it appropriate to close the removal proceeding under the circumstance for this Illinois case.1


Sources:

  1. http://www.scribd.com/doc/234694859/Gustavo-Barba-Arreaga-A077-772-631-BIA-June-2-2014 (BIA’s recent decision)
  2. http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/victims-human-trafficking-other-crimes/victims-criminal-activity-u-nonimmigrant-status/victims-criminal-activity-u-nonimmigrant-status (Official guideline of U-visa Eligibility)
  3. http://www.asistahelp.org/documents/resources/SanchezSosa_25_IN_Dec_7B25382DB0BA2.pdf (A crucial precedent by BIA in a similar context)

 

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Richard Herman is a nationally-known immigration attorney with 20+ years of experience representing families and businesses in all aspects of immigration law. Richard was voted for inclusion in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© and listed in Super Lawyers© for ten consecutive years, Richard is the founder of the Herman Legal Group, an immigration law firm serving clients in over 12 languages from offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Detroit, whose attorneys have represented diverse clientele, from Fortune 500 companies to undocumented workers, from technology entrepreneurs to NFL teams. He is the co-author of the acclaimed book, Immigrant, Inc. ---Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Driving the New Economy (John Wiley & Sons, 2009). Richard has appeared FOX News (The O’Reilly Factor), ABC News 20/20, National Public Radio, and has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Inc., PC World, Computerworld, CIO, TechCrunch and InformationWeek.

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