U Visa Work Permits. Bona Fide Determination.


After many years of advocacy and struggle on behalf of our U visa clients, we are thrilled to announce that USCIS is FINALLY updating their policies so that U visa applicants do not have to wait years for a work permit and deferred action status.

The new process called a “Bona Fide Determination” will provide work permits to most U visa applicants within just a few weeks of filing, and will be valid for four years. Our attorney Jennifer Walker Gates has created this video to explain how this new policy affects U Visa petitioners and what you need to be able to get a Bona Fide Determination.

What is the “Bona Fide Determination”?

The Bona Fide Determination will give victims of crime in the United States access to employment authorization much more promptly after filing their applications for U visas and providing them with stability and better equipping them to cooperate with and assist law enforcement investigations and prosecutions.

This announcement means that applicants for U Visas and their qualifying dependents will get a work permit and notice of Deferred Action when:

  1. They have filed a complete U visa petition.
    1. With Form I-918 and Form I-918A for dependents, if any, signed by the petitioner/applicant.
    2. With a Form I-918B certification completed and signed by the police, the prosecution, or a judge and filed within six months of the filing date.
  2. The biometrics check is done.
  3. The petition/applicant and qualifying relatives demonstrate that they have no serious criminal record.

Many clients of WGV who have pending U visa petitions will be eligible for this Bona Fide Determination based on the cases that have already been filed. Others will need to complete Forms I-765 for submission to USCIS for the Bona Fide Determination. We will be contacting clients who need to complete additional paperwork to be eligible to participate in this program. For information about your U visa case and whether you need to file different applications for a Bona Fide Determination, please reach out to your case manager or attorney.

We at WGV want to recognize, honor, and thank all of our clients who participated in federal lawsuits to force USCIS to make this change! This is a huge victory for immigrant survivors of crime, domestic violence, and human trafficking!

If you or a loved one need legal assistance with any immigration matter, contact us at +1 512-633-1785 or schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys here

Follow us on:

Facebook Logo with link to Walker Gates Vela FB page IG Logo with link to Walker Gates Vela IG page LinkedIn Logo with link to Walker Gates Vela LinkedIn Page Twitter logo with link to wakler gates vela twitter profile YouTube Logo with link to Walker Gates Vela YouTube page