The S-5 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows travel to United States for individuals who are witnesses, informants, or otherwise supplying information regarding a criminal organization and whose presence in the US is necessary for law enforcement to pursue investigation or prosecution.[1] The S visa class, including the S-5 and S-6 visas, was created in 1994 by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act.[2]

An individual admitted on an S-5 may stay for a period of up to three years, must report their whereabouts to the US Attorney General quarterly, must not be convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year in prison, and must waive their right to contest deportation.[1] Once a person admitted under an S visa has completed the terms of their classification, a federal or state law enforcement agency or the US Attorney General may submit an application for permanent residence on their behalf.[3] The S-5 visa was created by Congress on October 1 2001 in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.[4]


  1. ^ a b Immigration pocket field guide. Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. 2013. p. 50.
  2. ^ Siskind, Gregory. "The ABC'S Of Immigration: S Visas for Aliens Assisting Law Enforcement" (PDF). LexisNexis. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Green Card for an Informant (S Nonimmigrant)". US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  4. ^ Ester, Karma. "CRS Report for Congress" (PDF). Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 1 November 2016.