Contributed by Kim Tremblay, Associate Attorney
Every fiscal year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has the authority to issue 10,000 U visas to immigrant victims of crime and their family members. On December 11, 2014, USCIS announced that it had reached the 10,000 visa cap once again this year, for the sixth straight year.
Thus, U visa applicants with pending applications will have to wait at least until October 2016 for the release of 10,000 new visas. In the meantime, USCIS will continue adjudicating applications and will notify individuals whether they qualify for a U visa and have been added to a waitlist. Many individuals added to the waitlist qualify for employment authorization and renewal of that authorization while they are waiting for their U visa to be issued.
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