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.
"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."
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..
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Work authorization will be granted once U visa is approved, not when application is filed.
I agree with my colleague. You may apply, but it is doubtful whether one would be approved before your U-visa is granted.
You certainly can apply but the key word in your quote is: may.
An EAD card will not be granted until U-visa is granted.
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