U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that for the fourth consecutive year it has approved 10,000 petitions for U visas. This means they reached the maximum number they can issue for fiscal year 2013 (October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013).
The program was created by Congress to help law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and other crimes, and to protect the victims of these crimes.
According to USCIS statistics, more than 76,000 victims and their immediate family members have received U visas since the program was implemented. More statistics can be found here.
USCIS will continue to accept new U visa petitions and will reissue U visas beginning October 1, 2013, the first day of fiscal year 2014. U visa applicants will be able to remain in the country while their applications are processed and will not accrue undocumented time while awaiting a decision from USCIS.