Can I get a green card after obtaining U Visa status?
Recently updated on December 5th, 2023 at 10:48 pm
Yes, you can apply for a green card which will grant you permanent residence in the U.S. if you have been previously granted a U Visa. When applying for a green card, you should have continued to hold the U Visa status for at least 3 years and you should have been physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of 3 years. You must continue to be physically present through the date that USCIS makes a decision on the green card application. Physical presence is broken if the you are outside the U.S. in excess of 90 days or an aggregate of 180 days unless the absence is to assist in an investigation or prosecution, or a person involved in the investigation certifies that the absence was otherwise justified.
In addition, you must not have been convicted for genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings or have held a Nazis status. Those are not the only convictions or types of involvement with criminal activity that might raise a red flag. For example, USCIS denied lawful permanent residence to a U Visa holder because the individual was arrested for sexual battery and sexual assault. The status was denied even if the U Visa holder was 14 years old at the time of the incident and was never convicted.
You must also prove that you have complied with reasonable requests to assist law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. More about this in the section describing what do you need in order to obtain an U Visa. (Hyperlink)
Lastly, you must establish that your presence in the US is justified on humanitarian grounds, to ensure family unity, or is in the public interest.
If you meet all the described conditions, you can apply for what is called adjustment of status by filing Form I-485.
How can I prove that I have been continuously present in the US?
Don’t stress about showing that you were present in the US every single day of the three years. You can submit copies of your entire passport, official government documents, college transcripts or employment records, federal or state income tax returns, installment payments, monthly rent receipts or utility bills. If you were out for more than 90/180 days, you must obtain a certificate from the prosecuting agency certifying that the absences were necessary to assist in the investigation or prosecution or were otherwise justified.
If you don’t have documentation to establish your continuous presence, you must explain why in an affidavit and provide additional affidavits from others with first-hand knowledge who can attest your presence.