U-visa Processing Time

By Tiara

As discussed earlier, if you are already in the United States as an immigrant or nonimmigrant (e.g., student), it is your responsibility to prove that you have enough money to remain here.

If you do not have enough money to return home, then you will need to apply for what’s called a U-visa. This article contains all of the information you need about how to process a U-visa for departure from the US.

We have gathered everything you need to know into one place including when you can begin processing your visa, who needs to approve it, and tips for staying in touch while you are away. Make sure to check out our list at the end!

U-Visas are granted to individuals with no practical way to return home due to circumstances such as being persecuted because of their race, religion, or nationality, or suffering extreme natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina.

Applicants under 18 years old must also be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian during the application process. It is important to note that even though children under 16 may qualify for a U Visa, they still require approval from both parents/guardians before completing the paperwork.

Furthermore, applicants over age 21 cannot take part in the visa interview unless they have proof of employment or other means of income.

How long does it take to process a U-visa?

u-visa processing time

The average processing time for a U visa is eight months! Eight months may seem like a very long time, but when you consider that most people have this information within them, then there are not too many hurdles in obtaining one, they become much shorter.

It’s important to remember that while the USCIS has an internal target of eight months to approve or deny a U visa application, it doesn’t make sense to wait around for approval after entering America illegally. If your goal is to remain here, then the faster you apply and be approved for a U visa the better off you will be.

If, however, you do plan on returning home soon, then staying longer than eight months could hurt your chances of being allowed back into America. You would need to show that you had adequate plans to return to your country before applying for the U visa so that your extended stay was for legitimate purposes.

Does the applicant need to begin the process of obtaining a U-visa?

After submitting all required documents, making sure they have enough money for your stay, and speaking with an attorney or visa professional about whether you should apply for this type of visa, you will then be contacted by US Immigration if your application is approved.

They will tell you what steps must be taken next to process your visa. This usually includes going back into your home country to get it, returning to America to pick up your new visa, and traveling with your newly issued passport while waiting for them to mail/ship your new visa!

This can take several days depending on how fast your destination city’s immigration office responds to our requests for help. We recommend being aware of when your application is scheduled to be processed so that you do not waste any time awaiting communication.

We are always in contact via phone and email during this process, but we cannot make changes to applications unless something has changed such as adding additional documentation.

How can I begin the process of obtaining a U-visa?

u-visa processing time

The first step in processing your visa is to gather all relevant documents and information. You will need to prove that you have adequate financial resources to support yourself while living and traveling in the United States, as well as show proof of valid health insurance.

It’s important to know what documents are needed for U-visas at each stage of application. In some cases, it may be enough to include only one document; however, in others, two or more may be required depending on the phase of the application process you are in.

The amount of time it takes to receive a U-visa depends mostly on how quickly you respond to questions asked during the application process. It also depends on the individual interviewer’s workload and timing constraints.

To avoid delaying your visa, make sure to organize and efficiently manage your documents prior to attending an interview. Make copies of everything, and be aware of when your documents must be received so there is no delay due to poor organization.

During the interview, keep organized notes about the applicant and the interview. This way you do not forget anything significant and you do not have to spend time looking back through files and papers.

Can I get a U-visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

u-visa processing time

You can apply for a U visa in person at an embassy of the country you’re visiting in America, or you can do it online through the Department of State’s Electronic Visa Application System (EVAS).

There is one major difference between applying for a U visa in-person at an American consulate outside of Washington D.C., and applying online via EVAS, however.

If your application is not approved within three months of submission, you will need to reapply either way. This could mean that you have to start over from scratch with the process, which isn’t ideal but something we must consider.

However, if your application is denied due to expiration of the U visa or other reasons, then you can reenter the process later.

What is the process for applying for a U-visa?

u-visa processing time

The next step in processing your visa as a student or educator comes down to where you are located and when!
As mentioned before, most countries have consulates that handle immigration issues. These embassies and diplomatic offices work with other country governments and agencies to ensure visas are processed quickly and correctly.

Some of these agencies may be more familiar than others, but they all do the same thing: review your documents, verify eligibility, and issue the appropriate visa.

Who reviews the application?

u-visa processing time

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not an organization known for its quick processing times, but they do have their moments. When you apply for a visa at the US Embassy or Consulate in another country, your applications are reviewed by professionals there to ensure that everything is legitimate and proper.

However, what most people don’t realize is that even after this process has been completed, it can take weeks, if not months, before someone from DHS actually gets around to reviewing the documents you submitted with your application.

This could be due to any number of things; maybe the person working on your case was recently assigned to work on such cases, so he or she does not know about yours yet. Or perhaps something was found wrong and additional paperwork needs to be gathered first.

Whatever the reason may be, this is totally normal and unavoidable.

How can I tell if I am eligible for a U-visa?

u-visa processing time

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set up an automated system to determine whether you are eligible for a U visa. You do not have to visit a USCIS office or use their services to check, it is done automatically online.

This way, there is no need to go through additional steps such as having to gather documents and proof in person before submitting your application.

The process takes about two weeks – that’s how long it will take for your application to be reviewed and determined if you qualify. So, the earlier you begin the more quickly you can get results!

If you think you may be able to prove special circumstances that merit a U Visa, then it is worth starting the petition early so that it can be processed without too much delay.

How long does the visa last for?

u-visa processing time

The length of time that you have to remain in the country while your U-visa is processed depends on two things: where you are applying, and what kind of visa you have.

If you are staying at a hotel or with friends, it will take slightly longer to process because there are more people involved. Your friend’s house may also not be private accommodation, which can add to delay.

Business class flights mean that officials do not need to travel as quickly either, although this does depend on whether they are able to reach you easily.