US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this month that, as of the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, it had 108,623 U visa applications pending. This number indicates that USCIS currently has more U visas pending than it did in all of fiscal year 2015. The governing regulations dictate that USCIS may only issue 10,000 U visas in each fiscal year. Based on these numbers, we can expect someone who applies for a U visa today to be waiting approximately 5-6 years to receive a U visa.
While this is devastating news in many cases, the silver lining is that U visa applicants are eligible to receive a grant of “deferred action” while waiting for the government to issue the actual visa. Deferred action in this context means that the government will issue a pre-approval notice to U visa applicants – typically 1.5-2 years after the applicant initially applies. The pre-approval letter confers deferred action on the applicant, which, in turn, allows him or her to apply for a work authorization document. The work authorization is then renewable in one-year increments while the applicant waits for the U visa approval.
If you have a U visa pending and have questions about the current backlog, please contact the attorney handling your case. If you are a new client, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you and answer your questions about the U visa.
How did we do?
Note: Your review may be shared publicly.
Effective March 25, 2020, in response to “Stay at Home” orders Joseph & Hall PC is closed to the public and is now conducting nearly all of its operations remotely during the COVID-19 health crisis through April 18th.
We continue to have a limited number of staff in our office to perform basic operations such as assembling and filing petitions, receiving and distributing mail and issuing checks. We are grateful to be in a business that is conducive to remote work and for all of your patience and support. Our lawyers and paralegals are here to answer the array of questions that continue to arise daily and will keep you informed during these rapidly changing times. We will hold telephonic or video meetings rather than in-person meetings. These meetings can be done by SKYPE or Zoom Conference call so that you can continue to interact with your legal team, face-to-face.
We remain committed to delivering outstanding client services. We do have one important request – please do not come into the office in person for your health and safety and that of our employees. Please mail or email all documents to our office. Also, you can make any required payments online at https://vpspay.com/p/3 or make them over the phone by calling 303-297-9171 or by mail. Please stay healthy!