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Legal Information: Federal


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January 30, 2018

Can I get lawful permanent residence (a green card) if my U visa status application is approved? What about citizenship?

If your U visa status application has been approved, you may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident later on.1 If you apply for lawful permanent residence, you may receive it if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You have been physically present in the U.S. for a continuous period of at least three years since the date you were admitted under U visa status;
    • The continuous physical presence is broken if you are outside of the U.S. for 90 days in a row or 180 days in total, unless:
      • the absence was necessary to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the crime; or
      • if the law enforcement official investigating or prosecuting the crime certifies that the absence was justified;
  • You were lawfully admitted to the U.S. as a principal or derivative with U visa status;
  • You continue to have U visa status at the time you apply for lawful permanent residence (the U visa status has never been revoked);
  • You are not inadmissible due to your participation in Nazi persecution, genocide, or as someone who committed an act of torture or an extrajudicial killing;
  • After receiving U visa status, you have not unreasonably refused to provide assistance to an official or law enforcement agency investigating or prosecuting the person(s) who committed the crime that made you eligible for U visa status; and
  • Your continued presence in the U.S. is justified on humanitarian grounds, to ensure family unity, or it is in the “public interest.”2

After five years as a legal permanent resident, you can apply for naturalization (to become a citizen), assuming that you meet all of the other citizenship requirements.3

1 INA § 245(m)
2 INA § 245(m)(1), (m)(2); 8 CFR § 245.24(b), (c)
3 See USCIS website