S Official Visa For USA

The S visa is a US nonimmigrant visa that allows witnesses or informants to assist law enforcement and provide information about a criminal organization in the United States. It is otherwise known as seen as “Snitch”. This visa is only valid for a short period of time; it does not provide permanent residence in the United States.

The U.S. government created this visa for people who would not be eligible to enter the United States if they applied for any other type of visa. The visa is also for those who would be deportable. These are people who have criminal records or problems with their immigration status.

What are the types of S visas?

There are two main types of S visas and a derivative visa.

  • The S-5 visa is intended for criminal informants who can provide valuable information that leads to the prevention, discovery and/or conviction of a criminal organization;
  • The S-6 visa is intended for terrorist informants who can provide valuable information that leads to preventing, discovering and/or convicting a terrorist organization or attack;

The S-7 visa is for families of S-5 and S-6 visa holders. This includes their spouses and children.

What are the requirements for the S visa?

There are two primary categories of S visas, and each has a unique set of criteria. For the S-5 visa, the Attorney General is the primary authority for determining eligibility. For the S-6 visa, the authorities to determine eligibility are the Attorney General and the Secretary of State.

The requirements for the S-5 Criminal Informant Visa are as follows:

  • The informer must have reliable information on an important aspect of a crime or on a crime pending commission;
  • The whistleblower must be willing to share that information with U.S. law enforcement or become a witness in court;

The presence of the informant in the United States is important and leads to the successful investigation or prosecution of that crime.
The requirements for the S-6 Terrorist Informant Visa are as follows:

  • The informant must have reliable information on an important aspect of a terrorist organization or its activities;
  • The whistleblower must be willing to share that information with U.S. law enforcement or become a witness in court;
  • The whistleblower is or will be in danger if he provides this information;

The whistleblower is entitled to receive a reward from the State Department because he provided this information.

How to apply for the S visa?

The person who is an informant cannot apply for the S visa. They must go to law enforcement to prove that they have valuable information. Authorities will first determine whether the person is eligible for S-5 or S-6 visas.

If the person is eligible, law enforcement will submit an application. The application consists of filing Form I-854, Inter-Agency Alien Witness and Informant Record. Form I-854 must also contain a worksheet prepared by the Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO). Finally, they must also attach any supporting documents.

The person being considered for the S visa must also write a declaration. This statement will certify that the applicant waives their rights to a deportation hearing and to contest. The application is then signed by a senior law enforcement official. He is subsequently subjected to trial.

Ultimately, the request is reviewed by the Attorney General, the State Department, and the OEO. They work together and make a decision about the visa.


How long does an S visa last?

The S visa is only valid for 3 years. US authorities have determined that 3 years is sufficient for the informant to communicate valuable information about criminal or terrorist activities. After 3 years, the whistleblower must return to their home country or request a change of status.

The S visa does not allow any extension. It is also difficult for the whistleblower to benefit from status changes due to their ineligibility. But one potential solution is to apply for a Green Card.

Can I get a green card with an S visa?

In order to change their status and obtain a Green Card, the S visa informant must apply before the S visa expires. They must take several steps to ensure they are eligible.

The first step is to obtain Form I-854 with letters showing that the whistleblower has fulfilled his or her duty to law enforcement by reporting regularly. The second step is to file Form I-485, Application for Registration of Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status with USCIS. On the form, the applicant must check the “h” box in part 2 and write “S Nonimmigrant” on the line next to that box.

Additionally, the whistleblower must attach these supporting documents to Form I-485:

  • Two photos that meet US photography requirements;
  • A copy of their birth certificate;
  • Form I-693, Medical Examination Report and Immunization Record;
  • A copy of Form I-94, Entry/Exit Record;
  • Copies of all passport pages;
  • A letter showing all dates of departure and entry into the United States with an explanation of why the informant had to leave the United States;
  • Proof of kinship if the informant also has dependents who apply for permanent residency. This includes marriage or birth certificates.
    Evidence that the informant had a job during the time in the United States;

Receipts certifying that they have paid all necessary taxes.

Can my family join me in the United States on an S visa?

US authorities allow those who hold an S visa to bring their dependents to the United States. Spouse and children are considered dependent. Children can be married or unmarried. The family of S-5 or S-6 visa holders can obtain an S-7 visa.

Although the S-5 and S-6 visas have annual tax limits of 250, the S-7 derivative visa does not have a limited number. This means that for qualified 250 S visa holders, there are unlimited S-7 visas if family members qualify.

When law enforcement applies for an S visa for a primary informant, they also include family members in the document. So the application also has the required S-7 visa documents. If the S-5 or S-6 visa gets OEO approval, the S-7 visa will also be automatically approved.

With the S-7 visa, family members can attend school or obtain an EAD to work legally. Additionally, if the primary S visa informant requests a change of status to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) and obtain a green card, the family is also eligible.


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