All You Need To Know About S Visa - Visa For Informants - Fakaza Jobs

All You Need To Know About S Visa – Visa For Informants

The horrible 9/11 tragedy has left the U.S government with no other choice than to prepare and plan for future attacks thereby taking measures to tackle any possible criminal or terrorist activity in the United States. The essence of the S visa is to serve as a tool against the aforementioned activities.

In this article, we will provide all the relevant information you should know about the S Visa.

What is the S Visa all about?

The S visa, also known as the snitch visa is a US nonimmigrant visa that permits witnesses or informants to enter the country and provide information concerning a criminal organization in the US thereby assisting law enforcement agencies. In addition to this, this visa does not permit you to permanently reside in the U.S as it is a temporary visa.

The government of the United States U.S government had people who would be inadmissible to the U.S if they applied for any other type of visa and those that are deportable in mind when they created this visa. These set of people are those who have criminal records or problems with their immigration status in the past.

Furthermore, you can only access this visa under two circumstances; if you have meaningful information on a criminal or terrorist organization or activity and you must show that you are a valuable witness, then secondly, if you are a witness and have information but you are in danger in your home country as a result of the information you have.

Either way, their information would be useful because it will lead to discovering or mitigating an illegal activity from happening in the United States.

As an informant with the S visa, you are allowed to reside in the country for 3 years as long as you corporate with the U.S agencies, they will in turn provide a safe haven for you. Also, you must adhere to and obey the U.S rules and laws during the period of your stay. In addition to this, you can apply for an Employment Authorization Document, and work during your stay in the country.

Just to ensure that people do not misuse the S visa, the government of the United States has set a yearly limit to this visa, only 250 S visas are given yearly. It is shared as follows: 200 visas out of the 250 visas are for criminal informants, while the remaining 50 are for terrorist informants.

Types of S Visas

Presently, we have two major types of S visas and one derivative visa.

  • The first is the S-5 visa which was made for Criminal Informants who can give useful information that leads to averting, finding, and/or convicting a criminal organization;
  • The second is the S-6 visa which was made for Terrorist Informants who can give useful information that leads to  averting, finding, and/or convicting a terrorist organization or attack;
  • The third is the S-7 visa which was made for the families of the S-5 and S-6 visa holders, their spouses and children inclusive.

Requirements for S Visa

Recall that we said that there are two major types of S visas, and each of them has requirements unique to them. The Attorney General is the major directory for the S-5 visa who determines the eligibility. As for the S-6 visa, the Attorney General and the Secretary of State authorities are responsible for determining eligibility.

For the S-5 visa for Criminal Informants, the requirements are as follows:

  • He/she must have relevant information about an essential part of a crime or pending commission of a crime;
  • He/she must be ready to share that information with U.S law enforcement officials or stand in as a witness in court;
  • The presence of he/her in the U.S is significant and leads to the successful investigation or prosecution of that crime.

For the S-5 visa for Terrorist Informants, the requirements are as follows:

  • He/she must have relevant information about an essential part of a terrorist organization or their activities;
  • He/she must be ready to share that information with U.S law enforcement officials or stand in as a witness in court;
  • He/she is or will be exposed to danger as a result of this information;
  • He/she is qualified to obtain an award from the State Department as a result of the information they provided.

How you can apply for the S Visa

If you have any relevant information, you cannot just apply for the S visa, you have to go to the law enforcement authorities to prove that you have valuable information, then, the authorities will decide if you are eligible under the S-5 or S-6 visas.

Once you are found eligible, it is the responsibility of the law enforcement agency to apply. After this, you must apply to Form I-854, Inter-Agency Alien Witness and Informant Record, and this form I-854 must possess a worksheet prepared by the Office of the Enforcement Operations (OEO). If there are any supporting documents, they must be included.

As a person who is being considered for the S visa, you must write a declaration that will attest to the fact that the applicant is waiving their rights to a deportation hearing and to contest. Furthermore, a senior official of the law enforcement agency signs the application.

The  Attorney General, the State Department, and the OEO work together to finally make a decision concerning the application and the visa. 

Requirements for the S Visa Reporting

If you are issued the S visa as an informant, you must follow some requirements for you to uphold it. The informant must first report to the law enforcement agency that sponsored them regularly and also report their daily activities. It is their responsibility to let them know any information they have concerning the criminal or terrorist organization while the agency reports to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In addition to this, you must report quarterly to the Attorney General and you will be deported by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Lastly, you must not be involved in any criminal activities, if you do so, you will lose your nonimmigrant status 

Is it possible to obtain a Green Card With an S Visa?

For you to update your status and obtain a Green Card, you have to apply for it before their S visa expires. There are numerous steps to make sure that you are qualified.

The first step you should take is to obtain Form I-854 with letters that will serve as proof that you have fulfilled your responsibility to the law enforcement agency by regularly reporting. The next step you should take is to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to USCIS, and you must look at the box “h” in part 2 and write “S Nonimmigrant” on the line after that box.

In addition to this, you must include these supporting documents to Form I-485 and they are:

  • You must include two photos in accordance with the US Photo Requirements; 
  • You must include Form I-693, Report of Medical Exam, and finally, Vaccination Record;
  • You must include a copy of your Form I-94, Entry/Exit Record;
  • You must include copies of all the pages of your passport;
  • You must include a letter indicating all the dates of your exit and entry in the U.S giving explanations of why you had to exit the United States;
  • If you have dependents that are applying for permanent residence, you must include proof of relationship which includes marriage or birth certificates.
  • You must include proof that you had a job during the period of your stay in the United States;
  • You must include receipts that you have paid all the required fees.

Is it possible for my family to join me in the U.S with an S Visa?

If you have an S visa, the U.S authorities permit you to bring your dependents to the United States but these dependents must be just your spouse and the children (married or unmarried) and can get an S-7 visa which does not have a limited number.

The S-7 visa permits family members to attend a school or get an EAD to legally work. Also, if as an S – visa holder, you apply for a status update to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) and get a Green Card, the family can adobe eligible for it.

In conclusion, this article is an expository one. Now you know all there is to getting an S-visa and how to go about it.

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