USCIS has published the numbers of U Visas approved during Fiscal Year 2012 and the data show that the agency’s expansion efforts of the visa program have worked. FY12 marks the third year in a row that the federal agency has reached the statutory maximum of 10,000 petitions for U nonimmigrant status since the agency began issuing the visa in 2008.
Each year, USCIS makes available 10,000 U nonimmigrant visas for victims of crime who have suffered from substantial mental or physical abuse and agree to help law enforcement officials investigate or prosecute those related crimes. The visa program was created by the U.S. Congress to strengthen the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute cases related to domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and other such crimes, while protecting the victims of those crimes.
USCIS will continue to accept new petitions for the U visa; visas will begin being issued again on October 1, 2012.