11 Apr How do I apply as victim of human trafficking under T Visa?
Q: How do I apply for a T Nonimmigrant Visa?
If you are a victim of a severe form of trafficking, you must submit a Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status. The Form I-914 requests information regarding your eligibility for T nonimmigrant status, as well as admissibility to the United States. You must also include a statement in your own words about your victimization. You may submit a law enforcement agency endorsement using Form I-914, Supplement B, Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons. You also have the option to submit secondary evidence of compliance with reasonable requests for assistance. This evidence may include trial transcripts, court documents; police reports, news articles and affidavits.
Q: Are there fees that I must pay to apply?
There is no fee to file a Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status. You may submit a request for a waiver of the filing fees for all other forms associated with filing your Form I-914.
Q: Can my family members also obtain T Nonimmigrant Status?
Yes. Immediate family members are eligible for derivative nonimmigrant status.
If the principle applicant is under 21 years of age, they may apply on behalf of spouse, children, parents and unmarried siblings under age 18; if 21 years of age or older, they may apply on behalf of spouse and children.
To apply for family members, you must submit a Form I-914 Supplement A, Application for Immediate Family Member of T-1 Recipient. Your family member’s application can be filed at the same time as you or at a later time.
Q: Are there a limited number of T Nonimmigrant Visas given each year?
Yes. Congress has limited the number of T nonimmigrant visas granted each year to 5,000. This does not apply for family derivative visas. Once the cap is reached, applicants will be placed on a waiting list. This waiting list allows those applicants who cannot be granted a visa due to the numerical limitation to obtain priority in the following year.
Q: Can I legally work in the United States if I have T Nonimmigrant Status?
Yes. When USCIS grants T nonimmigrant status, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is granted at the same time. The information for the EAD is generated from the Form I-914. There is no need to file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, along with the application for a T nonimmigrant status.
Q: How long am I allowed to remain in the United States with my T Nonimmigrant Visa?
The T nonimmigrant visa is valid for 3 years and a visa holder may be eligible to apply for permanent residence (Green Card) after 3 years in T nonimmigrant status.
Q: How can I apply for Permanent Residence (Green Card)?
You may apply for permanent residence by submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You must have been lawfully admitted to the United States as a T nonimmigrant and must continue to hold such status at the time of application.
To qualify for permanent residence, you must:
• Be physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least three years in T nonimmigrant status, or a continuous period during the investigation or prosecution of the acts of trafficking, provided that the Attorney General has certified that the investigation or prosecution is complete, whichever time is less.
• Maintain good moral character during your stay in the United States.
• Have complied with any reasonable request for assistance in investigation or prosecution or demonstrate extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal from the United States.
• Be admissible to the United States, or obtain a waiver of admissibility.
Q: Is a victim of trafficking eligible for any services and benefits?
Victims of trafficking may be eligible for a number of federally funded benefits and services regardless of immigration status if they have been certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Once a victim has been certified, they are eligible for the same services as a refugee. If the victim is under the age of 18, he or she is eligible for certain benefits without the requirement of certification.
Q: Are there any other forms of immigration relief available to victims of trafficking?
Yes. Another status granted to victims of human trafficking is U nonimmigrant status (U visa). To apply for a U visa, victims must file a Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status. U visas are awarded to people who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of specified criminal activity.
Note: This is not a legal advice and is presented for information purposes only.