USA and the UK
New U.S immigration policy will expand access to work permits for victims of crime
A new immigration policy has been announced that will see access to deportation relief and work permits expanded to some immigrants who are victims of crime.
The announcement was first reported by Reuters on Monday.
The UCIS will create a process that will allow U Visa applicants whose applications are pending to receive work permits, thousands of people could be eligible.
Currently, there are substantial delays to receiving work authorization under a U Visa. The new immigration policy aims to combat this.
What is the U Visa?
The U Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.
To qualify for a visa, applicants must be victims of domestic violence, trafficking or other serious crimes. Certain family members of approved applicants also can request visas.
U Visas do already provide access to a work permit and the ability to adjust your status to permanent residency after 3 years, but high demand means that U Visa applicants are currently having to wait at least 5 years to receive work authorization.
The new immigration policy aims to reduce this wait, but it has not yet been announced how many U Visa applicants will qualify for a work permit under this policy.
Who will be eligible for a work permit under the new policy?
Under the new immigration policy, thousands of U Visa applicants who have pending applications could be eligible.
Applicants would be eligible for a work permit as long as their claims are deemed to be made in good faith and without the intention of defrauding the immigration system.
USCIS is currently considering nearly 269,000 U visa applicants, according to agency data current to December, it is not yet clear how many of those could be eligible for a work permit under the new policy.
Biden’s humane immigration system
The announcement of this new policy comes after President Biden’s pledge to make the U.S immigration system more humane. Biden has already reversed many of Trump’s draconian immigration policies and the new immigration policy will add to this list. The Trump administration made it easier for immigration authorities to deport U visa applicants, which drew opposition from advocates for immigration.
In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the new policy would both help victims and promote public safety. He said:
“These are individuals who have come forward to help law enforcement keep us all safe, but who are in need of a measure of protection for themselves, as well,”
How can IAS help me?
If you need support with your immigration case, speak to one of our qualified immigration lawyers today to find out how we can assist you.
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Whether you are looking to apply for a family-based green card, a work visa, or making an application for US citizenship, your dedicated lawyer can give you a full overview of the options available to you.
Some of the support we offer includes:
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Contact us on +1844 290 6312 to speak with an immigration lawyer about your case. We look forward to working with you over the phone or by online video call.
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