Employment Authorization for U Visa Applicants

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an update to the policy to protect better crime victims who are applicants for a U Visa. This update introduces a new employment authorization process for U Visa applicants who meet the following requirements:

  1. The lead petitioner correctly submitted the U Visa Form, along with the certification of status signed by a law enforcement agency.
  2. Include a personal statement that describes the facts of the victimization.
  3. The principal petitioner having received the results of the biometrics.

In order to provide these crime victims with more stability as they rebuild their lives, this new process will allow eligible petitioners to access employment authorization while they await the outcome of their U Visa process determination. With this change, the victims are better positioned to cooperate and assist law enforcement authorities in investigating and prosecuting crimes.

Currently, applicants for U Visas wait at least five years before receiving a decision that allows them to access an employment authorization document. However, with this change, the victims will obtain an employment authorization without significant delays or long waiting times, allowing them to reintegrate into society reliably.