U Visa Granted to Pro Bono Client from Ecuador

May 5, 2017

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented pro bono client Ms. P., a citizen of Ecuador, in her application for U Nonimmigrant Status (known as a “U Visa”).

U Visas are available to certain crime victims who assist police and prosecutors in bringing perpetrators to justice. Ms. P. has lived in the United States for over 10 years and has a daughter who is a U.S. citizen.

Ms. P suffered repeated assault and emotional abuse at the hands of her partner. After Ms. P. filed a police report documenting this abuse, her ex-partner dragged her down the street by her hair, brought her to the precinct and forced her to withdraw her complaint. He was later arrested, and Ms. P. cooperated with the subsequent prosecution of her abuser.

Ms. P. qualified for a U Visa on the basis of her status as a victim of a qualifying crime (domestic violence) and her related cooperation with law enforcement, which was attested to by the Queens District Attorney’s office. Securing a U Visa means that Ms. P is now able to live and work legally in the U.S.; in three years, she will be eligible to apply to adjust her status to a lawful permanent resident (i.e., get a green card) and eventually naturalize and become a U.S. citizen.

Ms. P. was referred to Cleary’s pro bono practice by Safe Horizon.