At the January 26, 2010 Stakeholder Meeting, USCIS released a five-year summary for VAWA, T and U visas. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Victims of Trafficking (T) and Victims of Specific Crimes (U) are relatively new categories, and these figures are helpful in understanding the application volume and overall approval/denial ratio.
|FISCAL YEAR||I-360 SELF-PETITION VAWA||I-914 T-VISA||I-914 T-VISA (IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS)|
|FISCAL YEAR||I-918 U-VISA||I-918 U-VISA (IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS)|
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows battered immigrants to petition for legal status in the United States without relying on abusive U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouses, parents or children to sponsor their Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) applications. For many immigrant victims, the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family members may threaten to withhold their sponsorship as a tool of abuse. The purpose of the VAWA program is to allow victims the opportunity to "self-petition" or seek legal immigration status without sponsors.
The T nonimmigrant classification was created to provide immigration protection to victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons. The T visa also allows victims to remain in the United States and assist federal authorities in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases
The U visa classification was created in 2000 with passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, in order to help law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and other crimes, as well as offer protection to victims of such crimes. Every year USCIS may issue up to 10,000 U visas, and visa holders are allowed to remain in the United States legally for up to four years.