U-VISA - I-918, Petition for Nonimmigrant Status Certification
Administered by the Department of Homeland Security, a U-Visa allows immigration protection for victims of qualifying crimes and their qualifying family members (as appropriate), who are helpful to law enforcement in the detention, investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. This is a temporary visa that can be valid up to four years, and in some cases may be extended.
U-Visa’s are not automatic, and can only be granted if the appropriate paperwork is sent to Homeland Security via the law enforcement agency where the criminal activity occurred.
If the incident(s) occurred within the jurisdiction of the King County Sheriff’s Office, then applicants submit their completed I-918 documents for certification. The certifying official is Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht.
In order to certify a petition, the petitioner should submit evidence, attached to their petition, of their cooperation with law enforcement. Sheriff’s deputies or detectives involved must concur that a U-Visa applicant has both cooperated with law enforcement and will cooperate in any subsequent prosecution before Sheriff Johanknecht certifies the application.
Requests should be forwarded to Zoraida Arias, U-Visa/T-Visa Program Manager, for research and processing. The file will then be forwarded to Sheriff Johanknecht for final authorization/signature of certification.
Per RCW 7.98.020, King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) will process and respond to all request within 90 days unless the victim is in federal immigration removal proceedings, in which case KCSO will execute the certification no later than 14 days after the request is received.
For more information on the process and forms required, please visit http://www.uscis.gov/i-918Forward requests to the following address:
King County Sheriff
Attn: Zoraida Arias
516 3rd Ave #W116
Seattle, WA 98104
For questions email KCSOUvisa@kingcounty.gov or telephone: (206) 263-3199