Understanding the New Policy: Bona Fide Determination for U Visa Family Members

USCIS today announced that we are updating the USCIS Policy Manual to allow us to review Form I-918, Supplement A, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Recipient, and determine whether a qualifying family member is bona fide as soon as the principal petitioner receives a bona fide determination, even if the principal petitioner has not filed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If the qualifying family member has already filed Form I-765, we also may adjudicate that application.

Under previous policy guidance, USCIS would not consider qualifying family members for a bona fide determination until the principal U nonimmigrant status petitioner received an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the bona fide determination process.

This updated guidance is effective immediately and applies to all petitions for U nonimmigrant status that are currently pending or filed on or after Aug. 11.

U nonimmigrant status is available to noncitizens who have been victims of certain crimes and who are, have been, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement prosecuting or investigating those crimes. U nonimmigrant status is also available to qualifying family members of the principal petitioner.

USCIS encourage principal petitioners and qualifying family members to submit Form I-765 concurrently with their Form I-918 or Form I-918A. If you already have a pending Form I-918 or Form I-918A but have not submitted Form I-765, USCIS encourage you to do so. (You can find the appropriate address to submit your Form I-765 in the Where to File section of the Form I-918 webpage.) This will enable us to act efficiently on these cases when they are current for consideration under the bona fide determination process. Please note there is no fee for an initial EAD under the bona fide determination process.

More Information
This guidance, contained in Volume 3 of the Policy Manual, is effective on Aug. 11, and applies to benefit requests that are pending or filed on or after this date. Find the updated guidance at USCIS Policy Manual – Volume 3 – Humanitarian Protection and Parole, Part C – Victims of Crimes, Chapter 5 – Bona Fide Determination Process. Visit the Policy Manual Feedback page to provide feedback on this update.

Source: USCIS