What is the T Visa?
In October 2000, Congress created the “T” nonimmigrant status by passing the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA). The legislation strengthens the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute human trafficking, and also offer protection to victims.
Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life. Traffickers often take advantage of poor, unemployed individuals who lack access to social services. The T Nonimmigrant Status (T visa) is a set aside for those who are or have been victims of human trafficking, protects victims of human trafficking and allows victims to remain in the United States to assist in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.
If you are being abused by your U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident spouse, please read our section on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) application.
What are the requirements for a T Visa?
You may be eligible for a T visa if you:
- Are or were a victim of trafficking, as defined by law
- Are in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking•
- Comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (or you are under the age of 18, or you are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma)
- Demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States
- Are admissible to the United States. If not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on An Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a nonimmigrant.
How do I apply for a T Nonimmigrant Status visa?
To apply for a T visa, submit:
- Application for T nonimmigrant status
- Three passport size photographs
- A personal statement explaining how you were a victim of trafficking, Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons
- Evidence to show you the meet eligibility requirements
Note: You are strongly encouraged to submit a declaration of a law enforcement officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons to show law enforcement agency support. , Supplement B from the declaration serves as primary evidence that you are a victim of trafficking and that you have complied with reasonable requests from law enforcement.
Will USCIS allow me to file applications for Qualifying Family Members?
Certain qualifying family members are eligible for a derivative T visa.
|If you are....||Then...|
|Under 21 years of age||You may apply on behalf of your spouse, children, parents and unmarried siblings under age 18.|
|21 years of age or older||You may apply on behalf of your spouse and children.|
To apply for a qualified family member, you must file a Supplement A, Application for Immediate Family Member of a T-1 Recipient at the same time as your application or at a later time. To apply for permanent residency (a green card) for yourself or a qualifying family member, please visit our page on green cards for T visa nonimmigrants. [LINK TO T VISA TO GC]
Expert Help is Available for Your Immigration Needs Today
If you need any other answers or have any questions you or your family might have about obtaining T or U Nonimmigrant status, please feel free to contact our compassionate and experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys. We offer a confidential, free initial consultation.
If you need more information on other civic resources available to you, please see our section on resources for abused immigrants.