Green Card for a Victim of Trafficking (T Nonimmigrant)

If you have T nonimmigrant status, you may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident (obtain a Green Card) if you meet all the requirements.

T nonimmigrant status (also known as the T visa) provides immigration benefits to certain victims who assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking cases. For information on how to apply for T nonimmigrant status, see Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a Green Card as a principal T-1 nonimmigrant, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You were lawfully admitted to the United States as a T-1 nonimmigrant;
  • You continue to hold T-1 nonimmigrant status at the time of applying for a Green Card;
  • You have maintained continuous physical presence in the United States for either:
    • a) A continuous period of at least 3 years since the date when you were first lawfully admitted as a T-1 nonimmigrant; or
    • b) A continuous period during the trafficking investigation or prosecution that the U.S. Attorney General has determined is now complete, whichever period of time is shorter (a or b).
  • You have shown good moral character since first being admitted as a T-1 nonimmigrant and during the entire time your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is pending; and
  • You meet one of the following:
    • You have complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking since first being admitted as a T-1 nonimmigrant and until USCIS makes a decision on your Form I-485;
    • You would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States; or
    • You were under 18 years of age at the time of the trafficking.

In addition, before you can obtain a Green Card, you must be admissible to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Otherwise you must have been granted a waiver by USCIS of any waivable grounds of inadmissibility that apply to you.

Continuous Physical Presence

In order to maintain continuous physical presence, you cannot be outside the United States for more than 90 days at a time or for any periods that add up to more than 180 days, unless you can demonstrate that:

  • The absence was necessary to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the acts of trafficking; or
  • An official involved in the investigation or prosecution of the acts of trafficking certifies that your absence was otherwise justified.
Unless your absence was excused for either of these reasons, you break your continuous physical presence if you are outside the United States for more than 90 days at a time or for any periods that add up to more than 180 days.
 

Application Process

You may apply for a Green Card after you have held T-1 nonimmigrant status for 3 years if you have maintained continuous physical presence during those 3 years.

If you apply before meeting the 3 year continuous physical presence requirement, USCIS will deny your application unless you submit a certification from the U.S. Attorney General that the investigation or prosecution is complete. To inquire about obtaining this certification, contact T‑Adjustment.Cert@usdoj.gov.

To obtain a Green Card, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and submit evidence that you meet all of the eligibility requirements.

Qualifying Family Members

If you are a family member who was granted T nonimmigrant status based on your relationship to a principal T-1 nonimmigrant, you may be eligible for a Green Card if:

  • You were lawfully admitted to the United States in T-2, T-3, T-4, T-5 or T-6 nonimmigrant status and you continue to hold such status at the time you apply for a Green Card;
  • The principal T-1 nonimmigrant’s Form I-485:
    • Is currently pending;
    • Is being filed at the same time as your Form I-485; or
    • Was previously approved, and you were initially admitted in derivative T nonimmigrant status before the principal T-1  nonimmigrant became a lawful permanent resident (LPR);
  • The principal T-1 nonimmigrant meets all the eligibility requirements for a Green Card; and
  • You are admissible to the United States as an LPR or otherwise have been granted a waiver by USCIS of any waivable grounds of admissibility that apply to you at the time you apply to become an LPR.

You do not have to meet the continuous physical presence requirement that applies to principal T-1 nonimmigrants.

You will not lose your T nonimmigrant status when the principal T-1 nonimmigrant becomes an LPR. However, if you have not previously entered or resided in the United States as a derivative T nonimmigrant, you must be initially admitted in derivative T nonimmigrant status before the principal T-1 nonimmigrant becomes an LPR.

Once the principal T-1 nonimmigrant becomes an LPR, you can no longer be admitted for the first time as a T nonimmigrant. More information is available at Extension of Status for T and U Nonimmigrants (PDF, 133 KB).

Safe Address and Confidentiality Protections

If you do not feel safe receiving mail from USCIS at your home address, you may include a safe address on your application. You do not have to be living at the safe address.

To let USCIS know that you have changed your mailing address after filing an application for T nonimmigrant status or Form I-485, see the Special Instructions at Change of Address Information.

If you apply for T nonimmigrant status with USCIS, any information about you or your application for T nonimmigrant status is strictly confidential and is protected by law. DHS can only share this information in very limited circumstances and may not deny your application based on evidence provided solely by your trafficker.

USCIS resources: Our Resources for Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes page offers information for victims and organizations that serve them.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: To report suspected human trafficking and receive support and services to get help and stay safe, call 1-888-373-7888. This is a national toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in more than 200 languages. The hotline is operated by Polaris, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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