Suing USCIS: Getting Work Cards and Bona Fide Determinations for U Status Applicants

The Process

In June, Hope Immigration partnered with Brad Banias, an expert in federal litigation, to sue USCIS. The goal of this litigation was to show USCIS that it is unacceptable that U Status applicants are waiting outrageously long to receive Bona Fide Determinations (BFDs) and Employment Authorizations (EADs). The BFD allows the applicant to apply for their work card and provides Deferred Action. Essentially, it allows U Status applicants to build a life for themselves while they wait for their final decision. Without the BFD approval applicants cannot legally work, obtain their driver’s license, or get a Social Security number. All of these significantly improve the opportunities one can have, and it is unacceptable that applicants have to wait for these documents on top of waiting months or years for a final decision. Without the Deferred Action approval, applicants remain at risk for removal from the United States. 

Thankfully, nine families put their faith and trust in us for this process. We filed the first round of litigation in June and, so far, eight out of those nine families have received their BFD notices and will receive their EADs in the coming weeks.* The ninth received an evidence request, but we are hopeful that she will receive her decision and work card soon. We are so grateful for the clients that took the risk with us and we are over the moon that we can share this success with them.

The process itself is relatively straightforward. We compile a list of clients and their essential information, such as their names, addresses, receipt numbers, basic U application information (what type of crime, where it took place, etc.), and their derivatives. By filing multiple cases together, we have strength in numbers. 

Round Two

This is why we are adding new plaintiffs to our U litigation. Since the case is still open, we are able to add people even after others have received their decisions. If you are a U Status applicant who filed before April 30, 2023, you may be eligible to join us. This process is not limited to our clients; all who are eligible are welcome to join the litigation. If you have an attorney on your U Status case already, you can keep them and simply hire us for this process, if you wish. The same goes if you filed your U Status case on your own. 

By joining this group, we aim to have you receive a Bona Fide Determination and work card within 3-4 months of filing. We can never guarantee anything with USCIS, but we are hopeful for continued success.

 The legal fees to participate are $1800 per adult, and there are no fees for those under 21. If you are interested, please email Tracie at with the number of adults you’d like to include. Contracts must be in place by Tuesday, September 5th. If you have any questions, reach out to your paralegal for more information. We hope you’ll take advantage of this great opportunity—having an EAD can really change your life!

 *Please note we can never guarantee a certain outcome.

1 thought on “Suing USCIS: Getting Work Cards and Bona Fide Determinations for U Status Applicants”

  1. Hi Tracie,

    While catching up on developments at your firm, I’m very glad you partnered with Brad Banias to file Writ of Mandamus applications for those stuck in U limbo. As you may recall, I engaged a nationally-known, high profile, Atlanta-based attorney who frequently appears in the news media to file my mandamus application back in 2017, but it failed to produce the desired results. A third party attorney who specializes in mandamus and litigation work later commented how my attorney “dropped the ball”.

    For those considering Tracie and Brad for their mandamus application, I highly recommend her judgment, judicial discernment, and desire to help. Tracie’s fee is extremely reasonable compared to what I paid. I’m sharing this story because in my experience, a big name attorney who you see on TV does not equate to big results. In my experience, more often than not, it is solo practitioners like Tracie who deliver much better service and genuine, compassionate empathy than the bigger firms.

    I did not start my U journey with Tracie, but found her along the way after using the services of at least three other attorneys. You can be sure I’ll be engaging her for my AOS and citizenship application when the time comes!

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