There are 2 types of S visas: S-5 and S-6. A law enforcement agency (LEA) may specifically request S-5 or S-6 classification when an applicant intends to remain permanently in the U.S. The S visas are issued for 3 years and no extensions may be granted. Qualifying family members of the principal S non-immigrant may also be eligible for a Green Card (S-7 non-immigrant status).There are 200 S-5 visas available each year. To be eligible for an S-5 visa:
- A person must be in possession of critical and reliable information about a criminal organization or enterprise;
- Be willing to supply, or has supplied, this information to federal or state authorities or the court; AND
- The Attorney General must determine that the person’s presence in the U.S. is essential to the success of an authorized criminal investigation or prosecution.
- A person must be in possession of critical and reliable information about a terrorist organization, enterprise, or operation;
- Be willing to supply, or has supplied, this information to federal authorities or federal court;
- Will be, or has been, placed in danger as a result of proving information; AND
- The person is eligible to receive an award from the Department of State for providing the information.
Step 1: File [Form I-854], Inter-agency Alien Witness and Informant Record.This must be completed by the federal or state law enforcement agency or U.S. Attorney’s Office that initially filed for the S non-immigrant status on behalf of the individual. The application must include the agency's reasons for seeking the cooperation of the alien and it must also assume responsibility for the alien from their admission until departure.At this point, it is very important that you be honest with the agency representatives and disclose any possible grounds of inadmissibility; otherwise, failure to disclose may result in removal from the U.S.
Step 2: After [Form I-854] is approved, file [Form I-485], Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The green card application [Form I-485] requires you to submit supporting documentation which may include, but is not limited to:
- Two passport-style photos
- [Form G-325A], Biographic Information, if you are between 14 and 79 years of age
- A copy of your birth certificate
- [Form I-693], Report of Medical Exam and Vaccination Record
- Copy of [Form I-94], Entry/Exit Record
- Copies of all of the pages of your passport (or if you do not have a passport, an explanation of why you do not have a passport)
- A list showing the dates of all arrivals and departures from the U.S. while you were in S non-immigrant status with an explanation for each departure of why you left the U.S.
- Proof of employment
- If you are filing for a green card as a derivative beneficiary of an S non-immigrant, you must give evidence of the relationship to the principal S non-immigrant witness or informant (such as birth certificate or marriage certificate)
- You must pay any applicable fees
For more information, please see the USCIS website at: http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/other-ways-get-green-card/green-card-informant-s-nonimmigrant.