Form I-918 Overview
Form I-918 is used for people seeking U Visas or someone applying for a U Visa on behalf of a family member. U Visas are designated for people who are victims of crime and they do not grant immigrant status. The U nonimmigrant status helps law enforcement protect and help victims of crimes but also allows victims to come forward with information that may help law enforcement follow leads into federal investigations of criminal acts.
The U nonimmigrant visa status was created in the year 2000 by Congress with the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act and the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act. It is a way for law enforcement to crack down and help people whose lives have been negatively affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and mental and physical abuse. Please note that this visa is for victims of crimes that occur in the United States or a United States territory only.
U Nonimmigrant Status Qualifications
In order to be eligible for a U Visa, individuals must show that they:
- Have been a victim under one or more of the following crimes as defined under local, state, or federal law
- Have been a victim of substantial physical or mental abuse from one or more of the following crimes as defined under local, state or federal law
- Abusive Sexual Contact
- Attempt to Commit Any of the Named Crimes
- Being Held Hostage
- Conspiracy to Committ Any of the Named Crimes
- Domestic Violence
- False Imprisonment
- Felionious Assault
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
- Involuntary Servitude
- Obstruction of Justice
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Explotation
- Slave Trade
- Solicitation to Commit Any of the Named Crimes
- Unlawful Criminal Restraint
- Witness Tampering
- You can offer information regarding the criminal acts that you are a victim of
- A government agent who is investigating criminal activity certifies that you can or are likely to be of help to the case.
- The crime you were or are the victim of occured in the United States, on Indian land within the jurisdiction of the United States, a U.S. military base, or a territory of the United States
If you are a principal petitioner or hold a U Visa and are filing for a family member, you must ensure they qualify by demonstrating the following:
- If you are under 21 years old when the USCIS receives your petition, you can file for
- A spouse
- Unmarried children under 21 years old
- Unmarried siblings under 18 years old
- If you are 21 years old or over when the USCIS receives your petition, you can file for
- A spouse
- Unmarried children under 21 years old
What is the Latest Form I-918 Edition?
The current Form I-918 edition is from October 21, 2019.
What are the Required Documents for Form I-918?
In order to complete Form I-918, the following documents must be provided:
1. Proof of your identity and foreign nationality, such as a passport or national identity document.
2. Evidence of a qualifying relationship, such as birth certificates or adoption papers for family-based petitions, or evidence of a marriage for U visa petitions.
3. Evidence of the qualifying relationship to the USCIS petitioner, such as proof of residence together, joint property ownership, and affidavits from family or friends.
4. Evidence that the crime you suffered occurred in the United States, including police reports and court documents.
5. Evidence that you have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse due to the criminal activity and that you have information about the crime, such as affidavits from law enforcement officers, medical records, and photographs of injuries.
6. Evidence that you were helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime, such as letters from law enforcement officials documenting your assistance.
7. Evidence that you satisfy all other eligibility criteria for U nonimmigrant status, including any additional requirements set forth in USCIS regulations.
How to Submit Form I-918?
1. Gather the necessary documents. In order to submit Form I-918, you must have a valid passport, birth certificate, and other proofs of identity and eligibility for U.S. permanent residency.
2. Complete the form. Complete the entire form in either English or Spanish and provide all relevant information requested.
3. Include a copy of supporting documents. Make sure to include a copy of the documents that support your eligibility for U.S. permanent residency, such as marriage certificates, employment authorization cards, or military discharge papers.
4. Have the form notarized. Make sure to have your signature notarized to provide proof of authenticity for your application.
5. Submit the package to USCIS. Mail your completed Form I-918 along with all supporting documents to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What are the Filing Tips for Form I-918?
1. Carefully read the instructions for the I-918 form before filling it out.
2. Collect all the necessary documents, such as proof of identity and relationship to the U visa applicant, before filing the form.
3. Make sure to fill out all the required fields on the form accurately and completely, including any supporting documentation.
4. Be sure to sign and date the form where indicated.
5. Submit the completed form by mail or in person to the USCIS District Office or Service Center with jurisdiction over your place of residence.
6. Include any filing fee necessary with your application.
7. Keep a copy of your completed I-918 form and any supporting documents in case you need to refer back to them in the future.
Are There Special Instructions for Form I-918?
Yes, there are special instructions for completing Form I-918. The instructions can be found on the USCIS website. The instructions include information on the eligibility requirements and how to complete the form accurately. Additionally, applicants should review the form carefully before submitting it. They should also consult an attorney or accredited representative, if necessary.
What is the Form I-918 Fee?
The Form I-918 is an application form used by certain immigrants who are applying for U.S. lawful permanent resident status — also known as a green card. The I-918 application fee is $1,140, which includes the $85 biometric services fee. Applicants must also submit supporting documents and evidence to show their eligibility for a green card before their application can be considered for approval.
Can I Apply for Form I-918 Fee Waiver or Reduction?
Yes, you can apply for a fee waiver or reduction for Form I-918. If you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for a fee waiver or reduction. You must be able to demonstrate financial hardship or, in some cases, that payment of the fee would be contrary to U.S. interests.
What is the Form I-918 Processing Time?
The Form I-918 processing time varies and depends on a variety of factors, such as the number of pending cases, the accuracy of the information provided, and the current processing times at USCIS service centers. Generally, processing times range from 6 to 12 months. USCIS provides estimated processing times on its website, which can be accessed here: https://www.uscis.gov/processing-times.
Form I-918 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Form I-918?
A: Form I-918 is an application used by individuals from abroad who wish to apply for U.S. lawful permanent residence (also known as a green card) under the provisions of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The form is also used to apply for a U visa, which is designed to provide relief to immigrants who have been victims of certain crimes in the United States.
Q: How do I submit Form I-918?
A: Form I-918 and all associated documents must be submitted together to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can submit your application online, via mail, or in person at a USCIS office. It is important to make sure that you have filled out all of the necessary forms and included all of the required documents before you submit your application.
Q: What documents do I need to submit with my Form I-918?
A: You must submit several documents with your Form I-918 in order to be considered for a U visa or green card. These documents may include proof of identity such as a passport or birth certificate, evidence of your relationship to the principal applicant if you are applying as a derivative, proof of your qualifying crime, and other supporting documents. It is important that you submit all required documents along with your application in order for USCIS to be able to process your application.
Q: How long does it take for USCIS to process my Form I-918?
A: The processing time for Form I-918 can vary depending on the type of application you are submitting and the current USCIS workload. For example, processing times for a U visa may take up to seven months from the time of filing, while processing times for a green card may take up to twelve months from the time of filing. Your actual processing time may differ from these estimates, so it is important to check with USCIS for updates on your application status.