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USCIS New Policy for U-Visas

What is the new policy for U-Visa?

On June 14, 2021, the United States Citizenship, and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new groundbreaking policy alert. The agency informed all U-visa applicants that they will now be exercising to issue four-year Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) also known as work permits, as well as a four year “deferred action” status, to U-visa applicants that remain pending with the USCIS. This new process is called a “bona fide determination”. Now, what this means to all U-visa applicants is that they will no longer have to wait for their U-visa approval in order to become eligible for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and they will be protected from deportation.

What are the benefits of a bona fide determination for U Visa applicants?

The benefits for U-visa applicants who are eligible for a “bona fide determination” include a four-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD) also known as a work permit that will allow the applicant to be able to work in the United States. It will also allow the applicant to receive a Social Security Number and a driver’s license in the United States. Additionally, the applicants will receive a four year “deferred action” status which means that they will be granted protection from deportation if they have not committed any serious crimes within the United States.

What will determine if a U Visa application is bona fide?

  • A complete, signed U Visa application (Form I-918)

  • A complete, signed U Visa certification (Form I-918, Supplement B) filed within six months of the certifier’s signature.

  • A personal statement from the U Visa applicant describing the facts of the case.

  • A criminal background and security check of the U-visa applicant

Who does this new policy apply to?

This new policy applies to everyone who has a current Form I-918 petition pending and all U-Visa petitions that were filed on or after June 14, 2021.

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