USCIS outlines a “bona fide determination” process (“BFD”) to grant deferred action and issue employment authorization documents for U visa petitioners.

U visa nonimmigrant status (U visa) is available to victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.

The BFD process is used to grant deferred action and issue employment authorization to U-visa petitioners who are found to have bona fide applications.

USCIS stated that the determination of whether a petition is bona fide is based on whether the application is complete, including evidence and background checks, as well as whether there are any national security or public safety risks. Keep in mind that this is a discretionary determination.

Please also keep in mind that a BFD does not guarantee that USCIS will grant your U-visa petition. You do not need to take any affirmative action if your U-visa petition is currently pending. USCIS will review cases and make determinations. Unfortunately, there are no timelines for how long USCIS will take to review a pending petition.

If you have questions regarding the U visa process, the BFD process or believe that you may be eligible for employment authorization as a bona fide U-visa petitioner, please contact me at the Law Office of Lauren M. Ransford, PLLC – (206) 354-4791 or

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