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Understanding Work Permits for U Visas: A Complete Guide

Entendiendo los Permisos de Trabajo para Visas U: Una Guía Completa

In this article, we will address a topic of great relevance that has generated confusion: the work permits associated with U visas.

Context on the U Visa

The U visa provides a work permit valid for four years for victims of certain qualified crimes. However, obtaining this permit is not immediate and can raise doubts, especially for those who have recently applied.

Important Differences

It is essential to understand that each case is unique. A work permit associated with a U visa differs from others, such as those for DACA or asylum, in terms of processing times and specific requirements. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with your lawyer for personalized guidance.

Bona Fide Determination

Since June 2021, the Immigration Service has implemented a process called “Bona Fide Determination.” According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this process allows U visa petitioners to work while they remain safely in the United States. It also provides valuable support to law enforcement to detect, investigate, or prosecute the serious crimes the petitioners have survived or witnessed.

Important Considerations

  • The U visa is granted annually, with a limit of 10,000 visas, and is only awarded in October of each year.
  • Applications are considerably backlogged, and cases from around July 2016 are currently being processed.
  • It is important to report address changes to the immigration service to avoid location issues.

Permits for Derivatives

When the main petitioner receives their work permit, derivatives can apply for theirs. However, this approval is not automatic and is subject to specific requirements, including credible evidence of the family relationship.


  • Check the current processing dates to avoid despair.
  • In the third year of having the U visa, start the process of applying for residency.
  • Report changes of address in time to avoid complications.

Remember that these articles are meant to be informative. If you have additional questions or require personalized advice, contact us at 205 940 2233, visit our Abogados Centro Legal’s website, or schedule a consultation.

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