U-Visa processing time and when you can get a work permit

Did you file a U-visa petition and are still waiting to hear from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services? Are you wondering when you can file for your work permit? Watch this video for important information!


Sharon Abaud is the founding attorney of The Law Office of Sharon Abaud located in Gardena, California. Sharon obtained a B.A. in the field of International Studies with a minor in French from California State University of Long Beach. Sharon then obtained her J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California where she successfully completed a concentration in Immigrant Advocacy.

Sharon’s parents were born in Santiago, Chile and it is thanks to her parents that she is fluent in Spanish. As a young child, Sharon witnessed the worry and fear her parents felt throughout their immigration journey; luckily, Sharon also witnessed her parents’ joy when they became lawful permanent residents and eventually, U.S. citizens. This childhood experience is a huge part of why Sharon knew she wanted to help the immigrant community someday.

Today, Sharon is a passionate, dedicated, and caring immigration attorney. To Sharon, every case matters and every client is a person with a family, not just a number. It is for this reason that Sharon is personally and directly involved with each of her clients’ cases at every stage. At the Law Office of Sharon Abaud, the client hears from the attorney directly because she cares.



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8 thoughts on “U-Visa processing time and when you can get a work permit

  1. Hello, my mother is filling for a U-Visa and I have a couple of questions:
    1. Once her documents are submitted to USCIS, what is the waiting time for her to be able to get her license?

    2. After obtaining her U-Visa, can she travel outside the U.S? Or does she have to become a resident first? Based on the answer to the question, how long does she have to wait to see her family in her home country. i.e: travel outside the U.S?

    1. Jennifer Arriola how long it takes to be approved to be a resident will depend on the processing times at the time that your mom files for residency. What I can tell you is that she will be eligible to file for residency on her 3rd anniversary with U visa. Please note that she CANNOT file any later than year 4 with u visa. So she must file for residency between years 3 & 4 of being in U Visa status.

    2. The Law Office of Sharon Abaud thank you so much. One last question: how long does it take to be approved to become a resident, and after becoming a resident how long does someone have to wait to travel outside the country?

    3. Hello,

      1. Drivers license regulations are state law so the answer to this question depends on the state you live in. However, she should be able to get a drivers license once she gets her work permit and social security number and for that she’ll have to wait for her case to get processed and approved. As I explain in the video, processing times are at about 4 years from time of filing (USCIS is currently processing cases filed in October 2014).

      2. Can she travel outside the US once she has a U VISA? I do not recommend it. There are ways she may be able to get a humanitarian based permission to renter but again I’d only use it for a real emergency. If she leaves the US without permission she may have problems at the border or later when she tries to become a resident. Once she becomes a resident she will be in a much safer position to travel so it may be worth the wait.

      I hope I have answered your questions!

    1. Carlos Quichimbo Hola Carlos, ya tengo un video hablando de este tema en español. Lo puede encontrar en este canal. Gracias.

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