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T Visas for Victims of Human Trafficking

If you were a victim of human trafficking, a T visa may provide you with temporary immigration protection. T visas offer certain human trafficking victims nonimmigrant status. If you qualify for a T visa and are granted this special status, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can grant you permission to temporarily stay in the United States.

If you are a victim of trafficking, it may be hard to trust others.  We understand that you may have many questions you’d like answered before speaking to an attorney. We’ve assembled this guide to help you feel safe about the process.

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When you’re ready to move forward, our experienced legal team in either Michigan or California can figure out if you are a good candidate for this form of temporary immigration protection. If you are, our immigration lawfirm with T visa experience can help you safely apply.

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T Visa Eligibility

You may be eligible for T nonimmigrant status if you are a noncitizen, are a victim of a severe form of human trafficking, and meet certain other eligibility requirements.

The United States considers trafficking persons a serious crime. Not every human trafficking victim is physically kidnapped, and U.S. officials know this. It’s still considered human trafficking you ended up in a situation of forced labor or sex slavery, even if the trafficker used coercion, false promises, or threats to control you.

T visas are available to certain victims of severe forms of human trafficking. Sex trafficking and labor trafficking are considered severe forms of human trafficking if they meet the legal definitions.

Sex Trafficking

USCIS’s definition of sex trafficking is “recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act where the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or the person being induced to perform such act is under 18 years of age.” 

Labor Trafficking

USCIS’s definition of labor trafficking is “recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.”   

Other Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply for T nonimmigrant status you must also:

Certain other eligibility requirements may also apply, but your attorney will explain them in detail.

U.S. officials understand that traffickers often threaten their victims with harm to their family members, so derivative T visas are available to some of your family members as well.

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T Nonimmigrant Responsibilities

Congress created the T nonimmigrant status to protect victims of human trafficking while also helping law enforcement uncover, investigate, and prosecute traffickers. 

If you are granted T nonimmigrant status, you may be required to comply with any reasonable requests for help from law enforcement or other officials. 

Reasonable Requests from Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officials may ask you to help with their investigation. They may also ask you to testify. People from various law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges or other agencies may ask for your help.

If you were under 18 years old when the crime happened, your attorney can help you get this requirement waived. Your attorney may also be able to get this requirement waived if you can’t help them because of a physical limitation or psychological trauma.

Other T nonimmigrant Responsibilities

U.S. officials expect you to stay physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or a port of entry throughout the application process and while protected by T nonimmigrant status.

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T Nonimmigrant Benefits

Starting a new life is hard, especially if your new life starts in the aftermath of human trafficking. As a T nonimmigrant, you may gain certain USCIS benefits so that you can begin to rebuild your life. These benefits may include:

These benefits may include:

If you are granted T nonimmigrant status, you may become eligible to apply for other benefits related to your general well-being including:

Once you are eligible to apply for benefits as a victim of trafficking, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can contact your attorney with a Certification Letter proving your eligibility. Some benefits and services may even be available while your T visa application is being processed.

How To Apply for T Nonimmigrant Status

If your attorney believes that you may be eligible for a T visa, they will help you file Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status. The application process can be difficult, but your attorney will help you submit the required documentation and file your paperwork.

Documentation that an experienced immigration lawyer may include with your application includes:

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T Visa FAQs

Can a T visa lead to a green card?

If you are granted T nonimmigrant status and you have stayed continuously present in the United States for three years or until the trafficking case is complete, you may be eligible to apply for a green card. Other eligibility requirements must be met as well, but your attorney can help determine your eligibility when the time comes.

How long can you stay in the United States with a T visa?

The initial length of a T visa is four years.

Which of my family members can get nonimmigrant status if my T visa is approved?

If you are under 21 years old, family members who are not in danger who may qualify for derivative status include the following:

If you are 21 years old or older, family members who are not in danger who may qualify for derivative status include the following:

No matter how old you are, if your family members are in danger of retaliation because you were a victim of human trafficking, they may be eligible for derivative T nonimmigrant status. They must be one of the following:

Choose a Lawyer that Understands T Visas

If you are a victim of human trafficking seeking a T visa, you need a dedicated and experienced immigration attorney. Our Michigan immigration law firm and California immigration law firm may be able to help you and your loved ones through this confusing process.

We offer confidential consultations and multilingual legal services. We aggressively and compassionately represent our clients. Contact Kaur Law PC by calling one of our locations or filling out our contact form.   

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