The U visa work permit was created by Congress in October 2000, as part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, the U visa work permit allowed undocumented immigrants to come forward and report crimes committed against them without fear of deportation. This made it easier for law enforcement to crack down on crimes like trafficking and domestic abuse. This translates to less crime and more support for victims. A successful petitioner is granted Employment Authorization Documents and can apply, after three years, for a green card. Eventually, a U visa work permit holder can even become a naturalized citizen, if they meet all the citizenship requirements.
Who qualifies for a U Visa work permit?
You can qualify for a U Visa work permit for multiple reasons, one of which is if you are the victim of qualifying criminal activity. Such activity includes felonious assault (robbery), domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, trafficking, and more. If you have information regarding criminal activity or can be helpful to law enforcement in the prosecution of a crime, you may be eligible. The crime should have occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws. To qualify for a U Visa work permit, you should also be admissible into the United States.
What is the U Visa work permit waiting time?
The USCIS posts up-to-date processing times for applications including U Visa work permits. Currently, the estimated wait time is 5+ years due to the annual statutory limit of 10,000 new U visas, resulting in a wait-list. This is how long it may take them to complete 80% of their cases. On average, 5+ years is the time until notification of BFD or wait-list placement, not the issuance of U nonimmigrant status. This means that it may take even longer for U nonimmigrant status to be granted. Bonafide determination (BFD) is granted to allow U Visa work permit applicants the ability to work in the U.S. while waiting for full adjudication.
When do I get a U Visa work permit?
You will get your U Visa work permit after completing all parts of your application and waiting for the USCIS to complete processing it. This means completing and submitting form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status. This includes Supplement B, which must be signed by a law enforcement agency confirming that you will be helpful to them. You must also include a personal statement about the criminal activity. Applicants who are not admissible to the U.S. should file an I-192 form to waive inadmissibility. U Visa work permit applicants must also submit evidence to establish each eligibility requirement.
Picking the right U Visa Lawyer
When applying for a U Visa work permit, it’s important to pick a lawyer who can help you through every step of the process. A great option for a Bay Area immigration lawyer, Philip Levin & Associates has focused exclusively on immigration law since 1991. Our experienced team helps families, foreign nationals, and businesses through all parts of the immigration process, including U Visa applications. If you are planning on applying, we are happy to help. Reach out today to set up a consultation to talk about your U Visa work permit.