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Filing Form I-929 for Family Members of U-1 Visa Holders

Filing Form I-929 for Family Members of U-1 Visa Holders

Family members of U-1 visa holders have an opportunity to apply for a green card using Form I-929. This article will show you how to obtain your U.S. lawful permanent resident status through your primary U-1 family member. You may find this page helpful if you are a family member who was not included in the original U visa application.

What is Form I-929?

Form I-929 is officially titled “Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Non-immigrant.” You can apply as a U.S. permanent resident if you are a qualifying family member. However, there are multiple steps to take before obtaining residency status.

To begin, you must be a relative of a U-1 visa holder. Your family member is able to start the entire process for you. An individual with a U visa initiates this by requesting an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR).

What is a U Visa? 

The U visa is a non-immigrant visa, meaning the holder is only in the United States temporarily. The U visa is specifically intended for victims of USCIS qualifying criminal actions who have suffered immense physical and mental suffering at the hands of the criminals. 

An additional qualifier is that the victim/survivor has, is, or will work with law enforcement officials in investigating or prosecuting criminal activity.

Read the U Visa page to learn more about this non-immigrant visa. Additionally, those wanting to petition for U visa status must submit Form I-918. While filing Form I-918, the applicant may file Form I-918, Supplement A. This additional form is to petition for a family member to join them. If Supplement A is denied or never submitted, Form I-929 comes into play. 

What is a U-1 Visa Holder? 

When we say U-1 visa, we refer to the principal applicant and recipient of the U visa, which means you were the first to file the U visa application using form I-918. Only U-1 visa holders can file Form I-929 on behalf of their family.

The alternative U visa holder is called a derivative U visa holder. These family members were granted U visas using Form I-918 Supplement A. Derivative U visa holders cannot file Form I-929 on behalf of family members because they received the U visa through another family member. 

Form I-929 Family Members

If you are a U visa holder, you can petition for your family members to get permanent residency in the U.S., yet who you bring to the U.S. depends on your age. 

If you are 21 years old or older, you can petition on behalf of your spouse and your unmarried children if they are younger than  21. 

If you are under 21 years old, you can petition for your parent or both parents in addition to your spouse and qualified child (stated above). 

I-929 Requirements: the U-1 Visa Process to Start Form I-929

As the primary U visa holder, you must currently have your green card or be in the process of adjusting your status to register as a permanent resident. Click here for more information about the U visa adjustment of status process and for general information about the adjustment of status using Form I-485 here. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration visa and green card lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C.

  1. You are a lawful permanent resident. If you are not yet, you have proof that you are in the process of becoming one. Wherever you are in this process, the visa or adjustment process must be based upon your status as a U non-immigrant visa holder. 
  2. Next, you need to determine whether or not your family member is eligible for Form I-929 by showing evidence of your relationship with them. This means that the family member you are petitioning is eligible for permanent residency.
  3. You must also prove to USCIS that you and your family member will face extreme hardship if they are denied a visa to enter the United States legally.
  4. Additionally, evidence is needed to show that your family member deserves to be in the United States. 

After establishing all of this, you can file Form I-929. Establishing this involves filing specific parts on the form and providing evidence to support your claims. 

I-929 Inadmissibility

As part of the I-929 requirements, your family member needs to meet all LPR requirements. If a family member is found inadmissible, contact your immigration attorney right away. You will need to prove that, even though they may be found inadmissible, they should still be allowed into the United States, particularly if they will suffer extreme hardship if not. Of course, the severity of the offense is also considered. It can be a complicated process, so working with an attorney can benefit you greatly. 

Form I-929 Evidence

Your immigration attorney will review all evidence to ensure your case is well-supported. In general, your I 929 adjustment of the status checklist for documents to send to USCIS includes:

  • A fully completed and signed Form I-929
  • A photo of your family member
  • Proof of lawful permanent residence status based on your U visa
  • Proof of relationship to the family member you are petitioning for
  • Proof of extreme hardship such as doctor’s notes, court documents, photos, written testimony, affidavits, and anything that can support your case that your family member will suffer extreme hardship if not allowed into the United States.  
  • Proof that USCIS should exercise discretion

I-929 Instructions

There are six parts to Form I-929, a seven-page document. Be sure to write in black ink and that all writing is legible. It’s also critical that you sign Form I-929. USCIS will reject any form that is not signed. Your immigration attorney will help with the process and double-check your form to ensure you have filled in everything.

On the top of your form, you’ll see a big box with blank spaces. Please do not write in this box; it is for USCIS officials to fill out. Instead, start below, where the form asks which family member you are petitioning for. From there, you will begin with Part 1. 

Part 1

Part 1 is “Information About You.” Fill out each section completely. Part 1 and 2 are spread over four pages. Both parts are in columns, so part 1 is on the left side of the paper, and part 2, is on the right. 

In part 1, you will put your personal information, such as your:

  • First, middle, and last name
  • Mailing address
  • Safe mailing address. This is here in case your place of residence is not safe for you to send official USCIS documents to because of your circumstances as a victim.
  • Country of birth
  • Social security number
  • Other names
  • Marital status and any prior spouse’s information
  • If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident or if your Form I-485 is pending

Part 2

Part 2 requests information about the family member for whom you are petitioning.

You will include all of the information stated in part 1, except for the LPR question. Instead, there is a section that asks what their current status is if your relative is already in the United States.

Part 3

In part 3, you will write information about your family member’s children, if they have any. 

Part 4

Part 4 is titled “Processing Information.” In this section, you establish if your family member is within or outside the United States. If they are outside, write the name of the United States Embassy or Consulate where your family member will apply for a visa.

Part 5

Here, you will sign and date the form. This is a crucial step. 

Part 6

Part 6 is for the prepared information, such as your immigration attorney. Your immigration attorney will sign and date the form in this section.

I-929 Adjustment Of Status Checklist After I-929 Approval

After Form I-929 is approved, the work for filing forms transfers from you, the U-1 visa holder, to the family member you petitioned for. After that, the family member can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. To do so, talk with an immigration attorney at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. Because this is a family visa, you will need to provide the following:

  • Proof that you have maintained your lawful status in the U.S.  
  • Evidence of your relationship to the principal U visa holder 
  • Two passport-style photos
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • Form I-979, Notice of Action Letter that states USCIS approved your I-929 form 

Your immigration attorney will help you gather the evidence you need to adjust your status to become a lawful permanent resident.

I-929 Processing Time

Many immigration forms, including I-929 petitions, are currently experiencing backlogs at USCIS. For this reason, the sooner the I-929 form is submitted, the sooner the form can be processed. 

Once USCIS receives your form, they will send you a receipt notice. On the notice, there will be a receipt number. Note that it is crucial to keep each document USCIS sends you. 

When you find the receipt number, you can check your case status online at the USCIS case status tool found here

I-929 Filing Fee

The I-929 filing fee is $230. This fee is non-refundable. 

Where Do I Send My I-929 Form? 

Send your completed application and all supporting evidence to the following address:

USCIS Vermont Service Center

38 River Rd.

Essex Junction, VT 05479-0001

Contact an Immigration Attorney Today 

Filling out immigration forms can be a time-consuming process that requires attention to detail and timeliness. Immigration jargon can be confusing, and one little mistake can result in a denied application. The immigration attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. have over 70 years of combined experience in immigration and naturalization law. 

Our immigration visa and green card lawyers can help you through every step of filling out your I-929 application and getting your permanent residency. Call us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form today. We look forward to hearing from you!

We're looking forward to hearing from you!