U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the intent to end U nonimmigrant interim relief program. The U nonimmigrant interim relief program was created to allow certain crime victims to receive temporary benefits until the regulations governing U visas were published.
Since October 17, 2007 regulations have allowed for adjudication of the U nonimmigrant petition. Those who receive interim relief benefits have been encouraged to file a petition for U nonimmigrant status (Form I-918). USCIS will now end U nonimmigrant interim relief for individuals who were previously granted interim relief but who have not filed a Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-918) or do not have a Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U-1 Recipient (Form I-918, Supplement A) filed on their behalf by December 31, 2009.
The U visa offers protection to victims of crimes who step forward to assist law enforcement investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking and other crimes.
Those persons who currently have U nonimmigrant interim relief benefits and who have filed Form I-918, or had Form I-918A filed on their behalf, on or before December 31, 2009, will remain eligible for these benefits as long as their Form I-918 or Form I-918A is pending. Interim relief benefits are discretionary and can be terminated by USCIS if a person no longer meets the requirements of the interim relief program.