Attorney: Devon Senges
Type of Case: U Visa Certification
Case Result: Local Police Signed Client’s U Visa Certification Request

A U Visa is temporary protection the U.S. offers to victims of violent crimes in the United States that cooperate with police to bring the perpetrators to justice. To apply for the U Visa protection, the police department usually needs to certify that the applicant was the victim of the crime and helpful in the police investigation.


Initial U Visa Certification Request Denied

In this case, Henry* was the victim of a violent carjacking. The perpetrator shot him in the leg and caused Henry to have a permanent limp. Henry called the police after surviving the attack and reported the crime from his hospital bed. He permitted extensive forensics of his vehicle and closely worked with investigators throughout the process.

However, when we requested certification of these facts from the local police chief, the chief refused to certify. Not only that, but he also made baseless accusations that Henry was lying about what happened. Yet, none of the officers who worked on the case found any evidence he was lying about any part of his story, and the medical records and forensics backed up his claim.

Immigration attorney Devon Senges made multiple attempts to talk to the chief about his concerns and fears. But he refused to speak with her either in person or over the phone. Immigration law does not give any recourse for an appeal of a chief’s refusal to sign the U Visa certification request. So all hope seemed lost for a time. However, Henry and his family never gave up, and they inspired attorney Devon Senges not to give up either.

New Police Chief, New Opportunity

Nearly two years later, Devon resolved to try and talk to the chief one more time about his concerns with this case. When she reached out, she found that the police chief had recently been removed from his position due to criminal conduct. Thus, a new police chief had been appointed. Devon immediately contacted the new police chief about Henry’s case. And, within a month, they received the U Visa certification!

At the time, Henry did not have any other option to legalize his status in the United States. He would have continued to live life in the shadows despite otherwise qualifying for protection under Congress’ vision for partnership between immigrants and local law enforcement agencies.

But, with the chief’s U Visa certification in hand, Henry is finally able to move forward with his application for protection in the form of a U Visa. Through this process, Henry and his wife are eligible to receive temporary protected status, work authorization, and a driver’s license. If they continue to be citizens of good conduct and cooperate with the investigation, they may one day be eligible for permanent residency.

Contact a U Visa Immigration Attorney Today

While it’s necessary to have realistic expectations, Henry’s case shows that maintaining hope is powerful. You never know what is going on behind the scenes that could change in your favor later on. If you think you may qualify for a U Visa, contact our immigration attorneys today. They will examine every detail of your case and give you an honest assessment of your options.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity.