A little over three years ago, I wrote:
Visitors face a more difficult situation. The major types of visitors are temporary workers and students. A person granted a worker visa or a student visa may bring their spouse along. The first problem for the spouses is that they are not authorized to work in the U.S. unless they can get their own visa. The second problem is that their status depends entirely on the marriage. If they leave the marriage, they automatically become deportable because they are "out of status". The VTVPA was supposed to change that, by creating a new type of visa called the U visa. This allows victims of violence, especially gender-related violent crimes (including domestic violence) to obtain their own independent visa. Once in possession of the U visa, they can work in the U.S. and even apply for permanent resident status after a year. There's just one problem - the government has not issued regulations yet for the U visa. Without regulations, nobody knows how to apply for this visa. John Ashcroft stonewalled for two years while immigration was handled by the Justice Department and now that immigration has been transferred to the Homeland Security Department, it appears that Tom Ridge is stonewalling too.Now, three years later, the U visa will finally be available. It's been 7 years altogether since it was first authorized. Better late than never, I guess.