One of the reasons why the U.S. allows an immigrant to come into the country is to escape violence in his or her home country. If you suffer from a domestic violence situation and your only hope is to escape to the U.S., then there is a specific visa option you will want to use.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a U visa is specifically for victims of crimes involving mental and physical abuse. It also requires that you can help law enforcement in prosecuting the crimes against you.
Crimes that qualify
There is a range of different crimes that can qualify you to get this type of visa. They include crimes involving abuse of any kind, such as domestic violence, rape and trafficking. They also include related situations where you may have tried to seek help, such as witness tampering, extortion and obstruction of justice.
Qualifying for the visa
To qualify for the U visa, you need to meet basic immigrant requirements to be admissible to the country. You also need to be a victim of a qualifying crime that happened in the U.S. or that violates laws of the U.S. You need to show you suffered abuse as a crime victim.
You also have to be willing to help law enforcement and have valuable information about the criminal activity that is useful to law enforcement and prosecutors.
As with all types of visas, there is a limit to the number of U visas the U.S. will issue each year. The general limit is 10,000 per year.