What is Form I-918?
Form I-918, officially titled “Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status,” is a form used by individuals who have been victims of certain crimes and who are assisting law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of those crimes. This form is specifically designed for victims of qualifying criminal activities who seek temporary legal status in the United States as a U nonimmigrant.
The U nonimmigrant status, also known as the U visa, is intended for victims of crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other similar offenses. It provides victims with temporary legal status in the United States, along with work authorization, for up to four years. Additionally, individuals granted U nonimmigrant status may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency (a green card) after a certain period of time.
To apply for U nonimmigrant status using Form I-918, the applicant must demonstrate that they meet specific eligibility criteria, including being a victim of a qualifying crime, having suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime, and being willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. Additionally, the applicant must obtain a certification from a law enforcement agency, prosecutor’s office, or other designated authority confirming their helpfulness in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
It’s important to note that the U visa program is designed to provide protection and support to victims of crime who assist law enforcement, and it plays a crucial role in promoting public safety and combating criminal activity.
Who can file Form I-918
Form I-918, the Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status, can be filed by individuals who meet specific criteria outlined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Generally, the following individuals may be eligible to file Form I-918:
- Victims of Qualifying Crimes: Individuals who have been victims of certain qualifying criminal activities, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, blackmail, involuntary servitude, and other similar offenses.
- Direct Family Members: Certain family members of the victim may also be eligible to file as derivatives on the principal applicant’s petition. This includes spouses, children (unmarried and under 21), and, in some cases, parents of minor victims.
- Qualifying Criteria: Victims must meet specific criteria outlined by USCIS, including having suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime and being willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
- Certification of Helpfulness: Applicants must obtain a certification from a law enforcement agency, prosecutor’s office, or other designated authority confirming their helpfulness in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
- Admissibility: Applicants must meet general admissibility requirements for entry into the United States, including passing background checks and not being inadmissible on certain grounds, such as criminal history or national security concerns.
It’s essential for individuals considering filing Form I-918 to thoroughly review the eligibility criteria and requirements outlined by USCIS and to consult with an immigration attorney or accredited representative for guidance through the process. The U visa program is designed to provide protection and support to victims of crime who assist law enforcement, and understanding the requirements is crucial for a successful application.
Form I-918 list of qualifying crimes
The qualifying crimes for purposes of Form I-918 application include:
- Abusive Sexual Contact
- Being Held Hostage
- Domestic Violence
- False Imprisonment
- Felonious Assault
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
- Involuntary Servitude
- Obstruction of Justice
- Sexual assault
- Sexual Exploitation
- Slave Trade
- Unlawful Criminal Restraint
- Witness Tampering
- Attempt to Commit Any of the Named Crimes
- Conspiracy to Commit Any of the Named Crimes
- Solicitation to Commit Any of the Named Crimes
Form I-918 filing fee
There is no filing fee to file Form I-918.
Form I-918 checklist of documents
- Your completed Supplement B Certification;
- Evidence you are the victim of qualifying criminal activity;
- Evidence you have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse;
- Evidence you possess information concerning criminal activity, and that the criminal activity is qualifying and violated United States law or occurred in the United States;
- Evidence you have been, are being, or are likely to be helpful to a certifying official in the investigation or prosecution of qualifying criminal activity;
- A personal statement;
- If you are inadmissible, an application for a waiver of inadmissibility on Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant, with the appropriate fee or a request for a fee waiver; and
- If you are filing Form I-918, Supplement A, for a qualifying family member:
- Credible documentation of the claimed relationship;
- An explanation of why required documents are not available (if applicable); and
- If your qualifying family member is inadmissible, Form I-192 with the appropriate fee or a request for a fee waiver.
How to file Form I-918
Here are the general steps to file Form I-918:
Step 1. Determine eligibility:
- Before filling out the form, carefully review the instructions provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These instructions contain important information on eligibility requirements, supporting documents, and where to file.
Step 2. Complete the Form:
- Fill out Form I-918 accurately and completely. Provide all requested information, including personal details, information about the crime, and any additional information required
- Collect all required supporting documents to submit with your Form I-918. These documents may include evidence of the crime, proof of your cooperation with law enforcement, and any other relevant documentation
Step 3. Mail the Application:
- Mail the Application: Once you have completed the form, gathered the necessary documents, and prepared the payment, mail the entire application package to the appropriate address provided in the instructions. Make sure to use the correct mailing address based on your location and the delivery service you choose.
Step 4. Await Notification:
- After submitting your application, you will receive a receipt notice from USCIS confirming they have received your Form I-918. This notice will include a receipt number, which you can use to track the status of your case online.
Step 5. Attend Biometrics Appointment:
- If required, attend a biometrics appointment at a USCIS Application Support Center to provide fingerprints, photograph, and signature.
Step 6. Attend Interview:
- If requested, attend an interview with USCIS officers. During the interview, you may be asked questions about your eligibility for the U visa.
Step 7. Wait for Decision:
- After completing all necessary steps, wait for USCIS to make a decision on your U visa application. If approved, you will be granted U nonimmigrant status, which allows you to live and work legally in the United States for a specified period
Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient
Form I-918, Supplement A, is filed by certain family members of a U-1 nonimmigrant visa holder. The U-1 visa is for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The purpose of Form I-918, Supplement A, is to allow eligible family members of the principal U-1 visa holder to seek derivative U nonimmigrant status.
Here are the eligible family members who may file Form I-918, Supplement A:
- Spouse: The spouse of the principal U-1 visa holder may file Form I-918, Supplement A.
- Unmarried Children: Unmarried children under the age of 21 of the principal U-1 visa holder may also file Form I-918, Supplement A.
It’s important to note that only certain family members are eligible for derivative U nonimmigrant status, and they must meet certain criteria to qualify. Additionally, the principal U-1 visa holder must have been granted U nonimmigrant status in order for eligible family members to apply for derivative status.
When filing Form I-918, Supplement A, applicants must provide evidence of their relationship to the principal U-1 visa holder and meet all other eligibility requirements.
Form I-918, Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification
Form I-918, Supplement B, is filed by law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges, or other certifying agencies. This form is used to certify that the petitioner (the U visa applicant) has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity.
Here’s who typically needs to file Form I-918, Supplement B:
- Law Enforcement Agencies: This includes federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies responsible for the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity in which the petitioner was a victim.
- Prosecutors: Prosecutors who are involved in the case related to the criminal activity in which the petitioner was a victim may also file Form I-918, Supplement B.
- Judges: Judges who are involved in the case related to the criminal activity may also provide certification if they determine that the petitioner has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
- Other Certifying Agencies: In some cases, other government agencies or entities involved in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity may also be eligible to provide certification. This could include agencies responsible for child welfare, labor standards enforcement, or other relevant areas.
The certification provided on Form I-918, Supplement B, is a crucial component of the U visa application process. Without this certification, the U visa petitioner may not be eligible for U nonimmigrant status. It’s important for certifying agencies to carefully review the petitioner’s cooperation and involvement in the case before providing certification.
Once completed, Form I-918, Supplement B, should be provided to the U visa petitioner, who will include it as part of their U visa application package submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Form I-918 filing address
A completed Form I-918 must be submitted to the following USCIS address:
If the applicant lives in:
Where to mail
|USCIS Nebraska Service Center
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
District of Columbia
Northern Mariana Islands
U.S. Virgin Islands
Outside the United States
|USCIS Vermont Service Center
USCIS Vermont Service Center