How to File for USCIS Form I-918

How to File for USCIS Form I-918

What is Form I-918?

Form I-918 is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form used to obtain a U visa, also known as the visa for victims of criminal activity. By submitting Form I-918, you are applying for temporary immigrant status to benefit from a U visa.  

What is the U Visa?

A U visa is granted to victims of certain crimes who have suffered or are currently suffering mental or physical abuse.

U visa holders assist the United States government and law enforcement in investigating crimes committed against them.

The U visa was established to allow victims and survivors of certain crimes to cooperate with law enforcement. One of the reasons victims may be reluctant to coordinate with the government is that they are undocumented immigrants in the United States. Without legal immigrant status, the fear of deportation by the U.S. government heightens.

With the U visa, undocumented immigrants who are also victims of certain crimes can feel safe approaching the justice system, finding refuge in the U.S., and helping to build a case against the assailants and criminals. 

Who Can File the I-918 Form?

To file the USCIS I-918 form, you must have suffered at the hands of USCIS’s qualifying criminal activities. The list includes crimes such as:

  • Extortion
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Trafficking
  • Slave trade
  • Abduction
  • Murder
  • Hostage
  • And more

If you have been a victim of a qualifying crime, know that you are not alone and that there are options for safety. The people who have done this to you must face the repercussions. We, the immigration attorneys at our law firm, are here to support you. You no longer have to be a victim.

If you have been a victim of these criminal activities in the past, you have the right to seek justice no matter how long ago or recent the incident occurred. Safety and justice are attainable. Reach out to us right away for more information. 

You must not only be a victim of certain criminal activities but also provide evidence that you are a victim. We understand that this can be difficult. Your immigration attorney will be with you every step, guiding you through the process and gathering the right information. 

You will also need to present the following information to USCIS:

  • Evidence that you have suffered significant abuse, physically or mentally
  • Proof that the crime happened in the U.S. or violated U.S. laws
  • Information about the crime—If you are under 16 years old or do not have any information, talk with your immigration attorney. There are alternatives that we can present.
  • Confirmation that you are or were willing to help U.S. law enforcement with further investigation or prosecution.
  • Verification that you are admissible in the U.S. 

Your immigration attorney will help you gather all evidence needed to send in with your I-918 form.

Form I-918 Supplement A

Obtaining a U visa provides an opportunity for relief and safety. With this visa, USCIS allows you to submit Form I-918 Supplement A. This additional form will enable you to petition for your qualifying family members to accompany you in the United States. 

Form I-918 Supplement A is a separate, 12-page form. You, the U visa applicant or recipient, will fill out this form. You can send Supplement A to USCIS either with your Form I-918 or after you have already submitted your form. You are not required to send additional evidence if you submit supplement A after your original submission. 

Form I-918 Supplement B

Form I-918 Supplement B needs to be turned in together with your Form I-918 because Supplement B is used to certify that you are:

  1. A victim of USCIS qualified criminal activity
  2. Have, is currently, or will help investigators or prosecutors with said criminal activity

Supplement B needs to be submitted with your Form I-918 to qualify for the U visa. The Supplement B form is also completed with certifying agents, meaning the law enforcement agency you agree to work with will complete the form.

Filling Out Form I-918 Application 

Filling out form I-918 is a complicated process because you need to have a law enforcement, or other qualifying agent, certify your petition. Additionally, you need to prove that you are a victim of qualifying crimes and have suffered major injury due to the crimes committed against you. We understand how difficult this can be. For these reasons, it’s best to work with an experienced immigration attorney at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. 

Regardless of your case, coming before law enforcement can be a risk. Your immigration attorney can help you through each step of the process and build a strong case for you.

Be sure to use black ink when filling out your I-918 form. The form must be completed legibly. Finally, don’t forget to sign your form. USCIS will not accept any immigrant form that is not signed. 

Form I-918 Instructions 

Now that you know the general rules, let’s look at the step-by-step instructions for your I-918 application.

There are eight parts to Form I-918, not including the additional supplement forms. We will review Supplement B instructions later in this article—do not write in this section. Instead, start where the form says “Part 1.”

Part 1

The first part of Form I-918 is information about you. You will include information such as your:

  • Last, first, and middle name
  • Other names used
  • Your home address
  • A safe mailing address. For this section, the safe mailing address is for USCIS to send any documents to you at a place other than where you live in case that place is unsafe. You can enter our mailing address here while working with your immigration attorney so that documents can be safely sent to us. 
  • A-number, if applicable.
  • U.S. Social Security Number, if applicable.
  • Marriage status
  • Gender
  • Date of birth

You will include other information that provides the basics about you as an applicant.

Part 2

Part two is titled “additional information about you”. In this section, you will indicate whether or not you are eligible for a U visa. If you need to answer no, talk to your immigration attorney. 

You must answer yes to the following to state your eligibility:

  1. You are a victim of a qualifying criminal activity. If you do not know if you are, speak with your immigration attorney or look at additional U visa information.
  2. You have suffered “substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim.” 
  3. You have information about the criminal activity done to you 
  4. You have a Form I-918, Supplement B from a certified official 
  5. The crime that took place happened in the U.S., in an Indian country, on a military base, or violated U.S. laws
  6. You are under the age of 16. If yes, then a guardian will need to help and represent you on your behalf 
  7. You have been involved in any immigrant proceedings, including deportation.
  8. The dates that you have entered the U.S. and your status as the time

In addition, if you are outside of the United States, you need to fill out the information about where you are currently and a safe address where you would like notifications sent.

Part 3

Part three of Form I-918 is the “Processing Information” section. In this section, you will prove that you are admissible to enter the U.S. This is the form’s longest section, which deals with your criminal history, deportation orders, and other issues that may compromise your application.

The form requests you to answer a series of questions that, if answered yes, may make you inadmissible. Working with your immigration attorney on this section is important. If you are found inadmissible, we can help you file Form I-192 for a waiver of inadmissibility.

It’s crucial to honestly answer all questions. If you have any questions about Part 3, please contact us today.

Part 4

Part 4 includes questions about your spouse and your children. In this section, you will indicate whether or not you are submitting Form I-918 Supplement A to request family members to join you in the U. S.

Part 5

This section is your statement, contact information, declaration, and signature. This is an essential part of your I-918 form, as USCIS rejects any form that is not signed. 

Part 6

Include the address, contact information, and certification of any interpreters you use. Your interpreter will also need to sign your form.

Part 7

Part 7 of the form is about the preparer of the form if you had assistance filing your form. If you work with an immigration attorney, they will fill their information in here. 

Part 8 

Any additional information you need to include will go in part eight. For example, if you need to add more information about your family, write their names and information in this section.  

Form I-918 Supplement B Instructions for the Certified Official 

Supplement B is for certified officials only to fill out. You will need to put in the victim’s information, your—the certifying agent’s—information, and information about the criminal acts you are or wish to investigate. You must also write how the victim has or will help you in your investigation. 

In part five of the form, you will need to list if any of the victim’s family members may be culpable in the crimes you are investigating. This further protects the victim as a U visa from Supplement A will not be granted to family members you believe are culpable. 

For additional information, read the USCIS Form I-918, Supplement B instructions

Form I-918 Processing Times

Form I-918 processing time has historically been quite long. In 2022, the historical national median processing time is 59.8 months. Because of the extended processing time, the sooner you submit Form I-918, the sooner you can obtain a U visa. Working with the immigration attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. will help you organize and complete your application on time. 

After you submit Form I-914 to USCIS, they will send you Form I-979C. Enter the receipt number from Form I-979C into the USCIS case status tool to check the status of your case.  

Form I-918 USCIS Filing Fee

There is no filing fee for Form I-918 and no fee for biometrics service. You may still be required to take a biometrics exam, but you will not have to pay.

Contact Your Immigration Attorney Today 

Filing Form I-918 is complicated, yet it can lead to great opportunities. If you have any questions about immigration forms, contact the immigration visa and green card lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. You can call us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form today. We are here to help and support you in your immigration journey and path to safety. 

We're looking forward to hearing from you!