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Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status

Scared battered women looking around a corner

Background

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.

The following T Nonimmigrant information is explained in this area of the website.

T Nonimmigrant Eligibility

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 a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant

Applying for T Nonimmigrant Status

To apply for a T visa, submit:

Note: You are strongly encouraged to submit Form I-914, Supplement B, Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons, to show law enforcement agency support.  Form I-914, Supplement B serves as primary evidence that you are a victim of trafficking and that you have complied with reasonable requests from law enforcement.

For more information for the T visa forms visit our Forms section and specifically the Humanitarian Benefits Based Forms.

Filing 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 Form I-914, Supplement A, Application for Immediate Family Member of 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, see the Green Card for a T Nonimmigrant page.

Resources

USCIS offers resources for victims of human trafficking and other crimes and the organizations that serve them. This information is designed to help answer any questions you or your family might have about obtaining T or U Nonimmigrant status.  Please see Resources for Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes for more information.

 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/03/2011