Resources on U Visas

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, announced that it will exercise its statutory authority to grant employment authorization to noncitizens with a pending bona fide petition for U Nonimmigrant Status. USCIS issued a policy alert on June 14, 2021, announcing changes to the Policy Manual that would implement USCIS’s authority to perform bona fide determinations for pending U Nonimmigrant Status applications and provide Employment Authorization Documents, or EADs, and deferred action to those who meet certain discretionary standards.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's decision in Medina Tovar v. Zuchowski became final on May 2, 2021. The Court held that after-acquired spouses of U visa petitioners are eligible to "accompany or follow to join" the U-1 petitioner through the I-918A petitioning process. USCIS has decided to apply the Medina Tovar holding nationwide to affected spouses of U-1 and T-1 petitioners. ASISTA, CLINIC and ILRC created this practice alert that includes the latest information on how USCIS' decision to apply Medina Tovar may affect your cases.

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On Jan. 22, 2020, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a decision in Matter of Angel MAYEN-Vinalay, 27 I&N Dec. 755 (BIA 2020) concerning requests for continuances by applicants for “collateral relief” pending with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services who are also in removal proceedings. In this decision, the BIA held that a noncitizen’s prima facie eligibility for U nonimmigrant status, and whether that relief will materially affect the outcome of proceedings, are not dispositive, particularly where there are relevant secondary factors that weigh against a continuance.

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Both USCIS and ICE have taken recent actions that may significantly impact certain U visa petitioners. On July 31, 2019, USCIS announced the release of a new U Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide, which includes new and troubling content about the role of law enforcement agencies, or LEAs, in the certification process. On Aug.

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This section of the toolkit includes resources to help you represent clients seeking U status and qualifying family member status. 

Please note that CLINIC’s sample documents are not a substitute for your independent analysis of the law as it applies to your client.

Click on the links below to access resources on: 

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The Matter of L-S-M- has been designated by the Administrative Appeals Office of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as an adopted decision. Adopted decisions establish policy guidance that applies to and binds all USCIS employees.