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Laws current as of August 15, 2022

Can I apply for a U visa if I am in immigration court for deportation ("removal") proceedings?

If you already have a case in immigration court, or have one coming up because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has detained you, you can still apply for a U visa.1 However, immigration judges do not have the power to give you a U visa since only USCIS has that authority. The only thing they might agree to do is to “continue” your case until USCIS decides whether to approve your U visa petition. Sometimes, the Immigration Judge may agree to dismiss your case. If you are already in immigration court, it is more important than ever that you file a good, complete case, with all the forms and documentation that meet all of the requirements. This is hard to do without help from an attorney with experience in U visa cases.

To avoid being deported, you will need an attorney who has experience in immigration court, not just experience with U visas. Your attorney may wish to contact ASISTA, a national non-profit organization, to get the latest strategies and arguments for U visa petitioners in immigration and federal court. ASISTA can also talk to your attorney about exploring the option of filing a case in federal court to stop your deportation.

Other national organizations can be found on our National Organizations - Immigration page.

1 8 CFR § 214.14(c)(1)(i), (c)(1)(ii)