POLICY UPDATE: U Visa Applicants Are Now Eligible to Receive Four Year EADS
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new policy alert on June 14, 2021, concerning U visa applicants. U visa applicants are individuals that are victims of certain crimes, from those particular crimes the individual had to have suffered mental or physical abuse. The applicant also had to be helpful to law enforcement and government officials throughout the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.
The new policy informs U visa applicants that they are able to apply for four-year Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). U visa applicants no longer have to wait five plus years for their U visa approval, to become eligible for an EAD. To be eligible for the EAD as a U visa applicant the application has to be determined as “bona fide” by USCIS. Determining if an application is bona fide is simple, USCIS needs to make sure that the applicants completed and filed documents correctly and their criminal background check does not raise any red flags whether it is national security, public safety, or any other concerns USCIS may have.
U visa immigrants being able to apply for and possibly receive an EAD effects the immigration world in an incredibly positive way. This means that U visa applicants are able to work while their visa application is in process. This helps the family to be able to afford the application process. It also helps the community this immigrant is located in by providing additional potential employees without having to go through work visa process.
This new policy will help victims be able to start their new life after such a traumatic event. These applicants no longer have to wait at least five years before they could start legally working if they got approved, they can now start working as long as their EAD was approved by USICS. It is steps like these that not only help immigrants but also our country as a whole.