Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Crimes
We help protect victims of human trafficking and other crimes by providing immigration relief to eligible victims. Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers may lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life. Individuals and their families may also fall victim to many other types of serious criminal activity in the United States, including rape, kidnapping, stalking, manslaughter, domestic violence, and sexual assault, among others.
Noncitizen victims of human trafficking and qualifying criminal activity may not have immigration status in the United States and may therefore be fearful of working with law enforcement. Traffickers and abusers often use a lack of immigration status to exploit and control victims. In addition, language and cultural barriers may make it difficult for victims to reach out for help after experiencing victimization. Immigration relief provides a path for victims to stabilize their status in the United States and build a sense of safety and security. Immigration relief is also a critical tool to encourage victims to become strong and active participants in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of a crime, and therefore increase community safety as a whole.
USCIS administers two immigration benefits that encourage victims to come forward and work with law enforcement and other certifying agencies.
- T nonimmigrant status, also known as the T visa, is for victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons. Victims can remain and work in the United States for up to four years once granted T nonimmigrant status. T nonimmigrant status may be extended beyond four years in limited circumstances; victims can also apply for a Green Card, also known as lawful permanent residency, if they meet certain requirements.
- U nonimmigrant status, also known as the U visa, is for victims of certain qualifying criminal activities, including domestic violence, sexual assault, hate crimes, human trafficking, involuntary servitude, and certain other serious offenses. Victims can remain and work in the United States for up to four years once granted U nonimmigrant status. U nonimmigrant status may be extended beyond four years in limited circumstances; victims can also apply for a Green Card, also known as lawful permanent residency, if they meet certain requirements.
- Eligibility for both T and U visas generally requires the victim to assist or cooperate with law enforcement in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of human trafficking or qualifying criminal activity. For T visas, there are some exceptions and exemptions to this requirement where the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of victimization or suffers physical or psychological trauma. For U visas, there are some exceptions and special rules for those under 16 years of age and victims who are incompetent or incapacitated.
Law enforcement agencies and judges play an important role in immigration relief available for victims of human trafficking and other crimes. Immigration relief options encourage victims to report crimes and work with law enforcement and serve as a tool for law enforcement to help eliminate human trafficking and fight crime in local communities. Please see Information for Law Enforcement Agencies and Judges for more information.
We offer 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. We have also developed additional materials specifically for law enforcement agencies. Please see Resources for Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Crimes for more information.
USCIS is committed to informing law enforcement and community based organizations about the forms of relief offered to victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and other crimes. To receive training on this topic, please send email T_U_VAWATraining@uscis.dhs.gov.
For more information, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.
Learn more about human trafficking through the Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign.
Attorneys and Accredited Representatives may send inquiries to following inboxes:
- For T nonimmigrant status applications and T-based adjustment of status applications located at the Vermont Service Center: HotlineFollowupI918I914.firstname.lastname@example.org
- For U nonimmigrant status petitions, Petitions for Qualifying Family Members of U-1 Nonimmigrant, and U-based adjustment of status applications located at the Nebraska Service Center: email@example.com
- For U nonimmigrant status petitions, Petitions for Qualifying Family Members of U-1 Nonimmigrant, and U-based adjustment of status applications located at the Vermont Service Center: HotlineFollowupI918I914.firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: In order to receive a response from USCIS, the individual making the inquiry must have a Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative, filed on the specific case. USCIS will not respond to emails from anyone who is not named on the G-28 on file for the case.
Unrepresented individuals may send signed written inquiries to:
- For cases located at the Vermont Service Center:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Vermont Service Center
ATTN: Humanitarian Division
38 River Road
Essex Junction, VT 05479-0001
- For cases located at the Nebraska Service Center:
USCIS Nebraska Service Center
PO Box 87918
Lincoln, NE 68501-7918
For information on Change of Address procedures, see here:
Law enforcement agencies may inquire using this email address: