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Legal Information: Federal


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January 30, 2018

Can I get a work permit if my U visa status application is approved?

Yes.  When you apply for a U visa as a principal applicant or as a derivative family member, you can get a four-year work permit once your U visa has been granted.1  However, you can get a work permit even before you get your U visa once your application is considered “approvable” and you are placed on the U visa waitlist (based on deferred action) – this usually takes about 3 ½ years to from the time you apply until you may be put on the waitlist.2  During that approximately 3 ½ year wait, you will not have a work permit. 

Note: If you are a principal applicant or a derivative applicant and you applied from abroad, you will be eligible to apply for a work permit only after you enter the U.S. once your U visa is granted.3

1 INA § 214(p)(3)(B)
2 Time approximation to get on waitlist is accurate as of 01/2018 as per ASISTA
2 8 CFR § 214.14(c)(7), (f)(7)