A crime victim isn’t entitled to a work permit while he’s waiting for the immigration agency to decide whether he qualifies for a special visa for cooperating with U.S. law enforcement, a federal judge ruled.

At the same time, Chandubhai Patel can go forward with his claim that it’s unreasonable for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to take more than four years to decide his U visa petition, Judge Clay D. Land of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia said Aug. 20.

The USCIS agreed that it’s required by law to make a decision on Patel’s...