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While waiting for U visa application, is it possible to request USCIS for a work permit ?

Berkeley, CA |

I'm an F-1 student in legal status. It has been 6+ months since I applied for U-visa and still waiting. It would be really nice to get a work permission while the application is in pending status. Thank you in advance.

Relevant Link:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1184
"The Secretary may grant work authorization to any alien who has a pending, bona fide application for nonimmigrant status under section 1101 (a)(15)(U) of this title."

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Best answer

    You may try and apply for an I-765, but it is highly doubtful whether USCIS California Service Center will even want to entertain the application..

    Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. Work authorization will be granted once U visa is approved, not when application is filed.


  3. I agree with my colleague. You may apply, but it is doubtful whether one would be approved before your U-visa is granted.


  4. You certainly can apply but the key word in your quote is: may.


  5. An EAD card will not be granted until U-visa is granted.


  6. Unfortunately USCIS has not implemented the authority to approve work authorization during the pendency of applications. The only exception is when they decide to approve but the 10,000 per year cap has been met. In that case they issue deferred action to the person but that has its own basis for work authorization, so not an implementation of the statute you reference b

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