Update: U-Visa Regulations

On June 14, 2021, the United States Citizenship, and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a New Policy Alert.. Under this new policy, the USCIS will now exercise its discretion to issue Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) (also known as work permits), as well as “deferred action” status to certain U visa applicants. Both new applicants and those with pending applications for work authorization under the U-Visa are eligible for this discretionary benefit.  This discretionary status is called a “bona fide determination”.

This is an exciting new development in immigration law because no longer will victims of crime have to wait for approval of their U-Visa application.  Applicants may be eligible to receive work authorization while their application is pending if they meet certain criteria.  Those criteria are called “discretionary standards.”  

To learn more about this change in policy, and the criteria for the “bona fide determination” please see the link below to the new policy.  If you have questions about whether you qualify under this new policy or would like a consultation, please contact Catholic Charities Immigration Services at 831-722-2675.

USCIS Policy Alert

We provide assistance and guidance for those who struggle in achieving lawful permanent residency and those who wish to become citizens of our nation. The Legal Immigration and Citizenship Program staff is a significant resource in our communities known for their experience and expertise in the processes of becoming legal residents and/or citizens.

Staff ensures full and accurate assistance for the current caseload of 5,000 clients annually in addition to over 9,000 services for consultation, replacement of legal permanent cards, work authorization renewal, applications for U.S. citizenship and English translation of certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, death and adoption all which must be filed in English when navigating the immigration procedures.

Those who meet the requirements for a visa can rely on staff that provides accurate, honest and dignified services that help them navigate through this complex process. Catholic Charities has an excellent partnership and relationship with the U.S. Citizenship and Legal Immigration Services with whom we work to provide educational workshops about the immigration process and attaining naturalized citizenship.

Catholic Charities is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals which is the highest administrative body responsible for recognizing organizations and accrediting individuals that practice before the immigration courts.

We provide services to women and children who qualify for VAWA (Violence Against Women and Children Act.) Those clients with the U Visas are charged a fee per family member.

As part of its ongoing effort to raise awareness about scams targeting the immigrant community, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has developed a series of “fotonovelas” in Spanish. The graphic-novel stories are the FTC’s response to many complaints by immigrants about scams throughout the nation. The stories offer practical tips for how to identify and avoid common scams. Click here to view.