The S visa is a nonimmigrant visa that is made available only to people who assist law enforcement officials as either informants or witnesses during criminal prosecutions or investigations. The S visa allows you to stay in the US during the prosecution or investigation of criminal act(s) in matter. Upon completion of the terms of your cooperation, you may become eligible to apply for permanent residency.
Are you eligible for an S Visa?
If you want to seek an S visa, you must possess information about a crime that has already happened, or one that might or will occur. You must also be willing to share any information you have about said crime or crimes with law enforcement. From there, a state or federal law enforcement agency or the US Attorney's office will petition for the S visa. Given that there are usually only 200 S visas awarded each year, it would be wise to have an immigration attorney accompany you to help you negotiate terms and to assure you that you will be eligible to apply for a green card upon fulfilling your obligations.
Who does the S visa affect?
Your spouse, any children you have (both unmarried and married), and your parents can obtain their own S visas once you are approved. They may also be given the opportunity to apply for their own green cards once your obligations have been fulfilled.
It is always better if you have someone on your side with your best interests at heart while possessing legal power to hold state and federal agencies to their word and that you are given your due. The process for obtaining visas can get confusing, especially considering the comprehensive amount of regulations behind immigration. It's in your best interest to go through the process with the assistance of an immigration attorney. Having an immigration lawyer can help keep things simple, understandable, and accountable.
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