Visas for Witnesses and Informants
Witnesses and informants who provide crucial information to U.S. authorities will need a safe way to legally enter the country. Individuals who can supply information regarding international criminal or terrorist activity may be eligible for an S-5 or S-6 Visa. To be considered eligible, the U.S. Secretary of State and Attorney General must determine that you truly possess valuable information for authorities, and that you are willing to supply this information to a federal law enforcement agency or testify in federal court.
In some cases, it must also be determined that you are or were endangered by giving this information to the U.S. authorities (S-6 Visa). Only 200 people may be issued an S-5 visa each year, and only 50 may be may be issued an S-6 visa. The maximum period of admission in S-immigrant status is three years.
There is a two-step application process. A law enforcement agency can submit Form I-854, Interagency Alien Witness and Informant Record, on behalf of a witness or informant (an “S immigrant”). Once this form has been approved, applicants can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The spouses and unmarried children of witnesses or informants may also be eligible for legal entry to the U.S. under an S-7 Visa. Family members admitted on a S-7 Visa are eligible to adjust status to permanent residency.
Attorney for Witnesses and Informants
As one can imagine, there are a lot of processes and forms required in obtaining an S Visa. Hiring an immigration attorney to assist you can ensure that all matters are handled responsibly. The help of a lawyer is especially vital when your rights and your safety are involved. The immigration lawyers at Salmon-Haas can be an advocate for you and your family as you collaborate with law enforcement agencies and the legal system in the U.S. We’ll help you keep your application materials organized, understand your options and explain any steps that are unclear to you.
You do not have to navigate this process alone. If you’re wondering how we can help you, call Salmon-Haas today for a free and confidential consultation.