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Title 9: Criminal

9-72.000 - Nonimmigrant VISA Classification

9-72.100 S Visa Program

The Violent Crime Control Act of 1994 amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a new "S" nonimmigrant visa classification. See 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(S).

This classification is available to a limited number of aliens who supply critical reliable information necessary to the successful investigation and/or prosecution of a criminal organization, or who supply or critical reliable information concerning a terrorist organization, if the alien is eligible to receive a State Department reward under the Rewards for Justice Program. Id.see also 22 U.S.C. § 2708. The statute permits the aliens selected for the program, and eligible family members, to be admitted to the United States in a temporary nonimmigrant status for up to three years, see 8 U.S.C. § 1184(k)(3), and authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to waive most grounds of inadmissibility.

Applications for S nonimmigrant visa classification must be certified by the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division and approved by the Department of Homeland Security. See the below-listed sections of the Criminal Resource Manual for more information on the S Visa Program and the procedures to be followed in seeking an S Visa for an alien. Further information concerning the S Visa program may also be obtained by contacting the Office of Enforcement Operations, Criminal Division at (202) 514-6809.

Statutory and Regulatory Basis Criminal Resource Manual at 1861
Eligibility Criminal Resource Manual at 1862
Application Procedures Criminal Resource Manual at 1863
Reporting Requirements Criminal Resource Manual at 1864
Adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident Status Criminal Resource Manual at 1865
Criminal Division Contacts Criminal Resource Manual at 1867

[updated July 2011]