Guide to Form I-918
Undoubtedly, having a U nonimmigrant status in the US is tough to deal with. If you have such a status, the chances are high that you have already heard about Form I-918. So what is it? Let’s find out.
What is Form I-918?
In the situation when you are a victim of any sort of criminal activity during your stay in the United States, you can file Form I-918 in order to get temporary immigration benefits. This works as a petition for U nonimmigrant status. In fact, this extends to your family members as well. This is covered under Supplement A of the same form.
Who Needs Form I-918?
There are two kinds of victims who can file for Form I-918.
- i) The Principal Petitioner is a victim of criminal activity as explained by Section 101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This includes crimes like abduction, extortion, murder and the likes.
- ii) Any of the crimes mentioned has led substantial physical or mental abuse for you
iii) The petitioner has information with regards to the abovementioned crime
- iv) A certification from any government official that your involvement or inputs might be crucial in the investigation of the case
- v) The crime has taken place in the United States or in a territory under the possession of the United States
- The Principal Petitioner here could also be filing the Form I-918 for a family member who has been a victim of criminal activity. For people under the age of 21 years, the family members refer to parents, spouses, unmarried children and unmarried siblings. For the other category of petitioners who are above 21 years of age, this extends to the spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age.
Form I-918 Requirements
While filling out Form I-918, here is a checklist of things to provide.
- Evidence that you are a victim of the qualifying criminal activity
- Evidence to show that you have gone through physical or mental suffering for the crime committed
- Evidence that you possess certain information related to the crime committed
- Evidence provided by a government official that your information is important in the crime’s investigation
- Completed certification of Supplement B
- A personal statement from you regarding the crime
- A waiver of inadmissibility, if required
- Evidence establishing your relationship with the family member for whom you are filing the Form, along with all the above documents for that member.
How to Complete Form I-918
Form I-918 has eight major sections and all of these need to be filled out appropriately.
Part 1 – This section contains information about you or the petitioner. This includes a number of different questions like:
- Full real name
- Other names
- Home address and mailing address
- Alien registration number
- US Social Security number
- USCIS online account number
- Marital status
- Date of birth
- Country of birth
- Arrival/departure records to and from the United States
- Passport number and travel documents
- Details of the last entry into the country
- Immigration status
Part 2 – While the first part contains basic information about you, the second part features some more advanced data. This would extend to your involvement in the case proceedings, your stay and travel dates in and out of the US and the likes.
Part 3 – This refers to the processing information in relation to the application
Part 4 – This covers all dependents and other petitioners in the form, including spouse, children and other family members.
Part 5 – This section contains the petitioner’s contact information, statement, and signature
Part 6 – In the situation that an interpreter was used for processing the form, their details are inserted here.
Part 7 – If this application is being done up by someone who is not the petitioner himself, the other’s individual’s information is noted here
Part 8 – This contains any additional information that could be crucial to the application
Where to File Form I-918?
So once you are aware of how to fill up the form and insert all the relevant information, the question is – where do you file Form I-918? The completed and duly filled out form is to be sent to the following address:
Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Welden St.
St. Albans, VT 05479.
This would require the form to be duly signed, without which the application is rejected at first go.
For more information on where to file Form I-918, you could call the National helpline at 1-800-375-5283 or also visit the site http://www.uscis.gov/I-918.
Form I-918 Filing Fee
The Form I-918 application does not require any filing fee. This is true for both Form I-918 and its Supplement A. however, in place of the fee, you are expected to provide biometric information for processing the application.
However, you are also not required to pay the fees associated with the biometric tests. The biometrics part comes in only after the form has been submitted. Once the application is processed, the USCIS will usually get in touch with the applicant to reach their office for the biometric tests. In case, your family members are the applicant for the form, their information would be required by the USCIS. Thus, a particular date would be allotted to fix up their biometrics.
Form I-918 Processing Time
The processing time for Form I-918 depends on the correctness of the information provided. There are a few steps to follow here.
- Initial processing – The filled out application is checked for completeness. If the required information has been left out, the application can be rejected.
- Request for more information – If the form has not been filled out entirely, the petitioner might be requested for additional information.
- Interview – the petitioner can also be requested to arrive at the USCIS office for an interview to validate the received information.
- Decision – This is followed by the decision phase where your eligibility for the benefits is analyzed and decided upon.
- The whole process can take a couple of weeks starting from the submission of the application to the establishment of eligibility.
Form I-918 provides immigration benefits to victims of crimes undergoing mental or physical abuse. Once you complete the filled out form and provide all the required evidence, your application is examined carefully to establish that you are eligible for the benefits. You could either apply for yourself or you could also apply for your family members.