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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) offers a number of visas based on humanitarian need. There a several types, but all are judged on a case-by-case basis by a USCIS official and are intended for people who need to enter the U.S. because of some emergency, disaster, asylum, refuge, or for fear of some kind of victimization. Here are the various types of humanitarian visas, in no particular order:
- Humanitarian Parole visa. These types of visas are temporary and meant for people who would normally not be allowed entry into the U.S. but need to as a result of some emergency, such as a natural disaster in their home country, or the need to reunify with a family member in the states who is seriously ill, or the recipient of a humanitarian parole, themselves, may need medical treatment they can only acquire in the U.S.
- Refugee Visas (U or T visas) these can be obtained through international organizations such as the U.N. or can be petitioned by a relative in the U.S. on behalf of a prospective refugee by filing a form I-730. Refugees can also petition for spouses and children to be admitted to the U.S. as well. Refugee visas are intended for people who face persecution or danger in their home country and have fled as a result. Every year, Congress decides how many refugee visas will be available based on world refugee visas.
- Asylum Visas are similar to refugee visas and are issued for many of the same reasons except they are applied for at U.S. ports of entry such as an airport, border crossing, or sea port. To apply for asylum, one must obtain and submit a form I-589.
- Battered Spouse, Children, and Parents visa. These visas fall under the victims of crime visa and are intended for victims of abuse when the abuser is a U.S. citizen or U.S. Legal Permanent Resident. To apply, obtain and submit a form I-360.
- Victims of Human Trafficking. These visas also fall under the victims of crime umbrella. They are intended for those who have been transported, enslaved, or abused against their will. To apply, obtain and submit a form I-914. These visas were recently extended to include aids and servants of international consular officers, diplomats, and other official in the U.S. who are mistreating their assistants.
- Temporary visas are available in the U visa category for those who have information about crimes being committed in the U.S. and can help authorities with apprehending and convicting criminals.