T Visa: 5 Things You Have To Know

Congress developed the T Visa as a way to assist immigrant victims of human trafficking.

The T visa stops American slavery in the 21st Century.

1. Here are the Eligibility Requirements for the T Visa:

  • —  The T Visa applicant is or was a victim trafficking as defined by law
  • —  Trafficking is typically either illegal exploitation in Sex trafficking or Labor trafficking
  • —  The T Visa applicant must be in the United States or at a port of entry because of the trafficking
  • —  The T Visa applicant must comply with any reasonable request from law enforcement agency for assistance in investigation and / or prosecution of the traffickers, unless the immigrant is younger than age 15
  • —  The T Visa applicant must be admissible (see separate article on this topic)
  • —  If there is a problem with eligibility based on being admissible,  the T Visa applicant may file a Waiver

2.  The T Visa applicant must demonstrate “unusual or severe harm” if removed from the United States

—  “Unusual or severe harm” does not include:  current or future economic detriment OR lack of social / economic opportunities.

—  “Unusual or severe harm” does include:

◦       Age and personal circumstances of the T Visa applicant

◦       Serious physical or mental illness of the T Visa applicant where treatment is unavailable in home country

◦       Likelihood of re-victimization

◦       Reasonable expectation of punishment upon return

◦       Likelihood of harm by trafficker or related individuals upon return

3.  The T Visa applicant files Form I-914 Application for T Nonimmigrant Status and Supplement A if applicable and includes:

—  3 passport-sized photographs

—  A Personal statement

—  Evidence to show all other eligibility requirements are met

—  (Optional but strongly recommended): Form I-914 Supplement B, Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer – often an FBI agent or a US Attorney

◦       If not submitted, the T Visa applicant must submit a statement explaining her request to obtain a 914B and why it was refused

4.  Qualifying Family Members

—  If Under Age 21, the T Visa applicant may apply for her spouse, children, parents and unmarried siblings under be 18

—  If 21 or older, the T Visa applicant may apply for spouse and children

5.   Applying for Permanent Residence (green card) based on T Status

  • —  After either 3 years or a continuous period during investigation and/or prosecution of the traffickers – provided that the government has certified that the case is completed – whichever is less
  • —  The T Visa applicant must maintain good moral character
  • —  The T Visa applicant must comply with any reasonable requests for assistance in investigation and /or prosecution
  • —  The T Visa applicant must be admissible or obtain waiver of inadmissibility

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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