Chapter 7 - Adjudication
A. Victim-Centered Approach
USCIS strives to apply a victim-centered approach to all victim-based filings. A victim-centered approach places equal value on stabilizing victims by providing immigration relief and investigating and prosecuting traffickers. In the context of adjudicating applications for T nonimmigrant status, a victim-centered approach means applying a trauma-informed, survivor-informed, and culturally competent approach to all policies regarding victims.
When corresponding with the applicant, officers should be mindful of the potential for retraumatization.
USCIS has discretion to interview applicants for T nonimmigrant status for purposes of adjudicating the application. USCIS conducts a full review of the application and supporting evidence to determine whether an interview may be warranted.
USCIS recognizes the vulnerable position of applicants for T nonimmigrant status. USCIS generally does not require an interview if the record contains sufficient information and evidence to approve the application without an in-person assessment. However, USCIS reserves the right to interview the T applicant as needed.
C. Requests to Expedite
USCIS has discretion to expedite the adjudication of immigration benefit requests, including the Application for T nonimmigrant Status (Form I-914) and Application for Family Member of T-1 Recipient (Form I-914, Supplement A).
D. Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny
If the applicant has not presented sufficient evidence to establish each eligibility requirement for T-1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) to request evidence of eligibility.
If USCIS determines the applicant is eligible for T-1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS approves the application and grants T-1 nonimmigrant status, subject to the annual limitation. USCIS provides the applicant with a written notice stating the applicant is approved and has received T-1 nonimmigrant status.
USCIS may also notify other parties and entities of the approval as it determines appropriate, including any law enforcement agency (LEA) providing an endorsement and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, consistent with the exceptions to the prohibitions on disclosure.
USCIS cannot approve applications for derivative T nonimmigrant status until the principal’s application has been approved.
So long as the principal T nonimmigrant’s application has been approved, if USCIS determines a family member of the principal nonimmigrant is eligible for derivative T nonimmigrant status, USCIS approves the family member’s application.
Derivative Applicants Inside the United States
For derivative family members inside the United States, USCIS notifies the T-1 principal of the approval and provides evidence of derivative T nonimmigrant status to the derivative.
Derivative Applicants Outside the United States
For derivative family members outside the United States, USCIS notifies the T-1 principal of the approval and provides the necessary documentation to the U.S. Department of State for consideration of visa issuance.
To enter the United States, the derivative beneficiary must present a valid, unexpired passport as well as a valid, unexpired visa. In the event of an unforeseen emergency that prevents a derivative beneficiary from presenting such documents, the derivative may apply to have USCIS waive these documentary requirements. USCIS decides such applications on a discretionary, case-by-case basis. USCIS can revoke any waiver it grants to waive a documentary requirement at any time.
If USCIS determines that the applicant has not established eligibility for T nonimmigrant status, USCIS notifies the applicant of its decision to deny the application. Consistent with disclosure rules, USCIS may also provide notice of the denial to any LEA providing an LEA endorsement and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.
A principal applicant may request USCIS to reconsider the denial by filing a Notice of Appeal or Motion (Form I-290B). Additionally, both principal applicants and derivatives may appeal a denial of an application for T nonimmigrant status to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) using the Form I-290B. The denial does not become final until the AAO issues a decision dismissing the appeal.
[^ 1] See DHS Blue Campaign Discussion of a Victim-Centered Approach.
[^ 2] For further explanation of these terms, see the DHS Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation (PDF) (January 2020).
[^ 3] See U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition of “retraumatization.” (PDF)
[^ 4] See 8 CFR 214.11(d)(6).
[^ 5] See Volume 1, General Policies and Procedures, Part A, Public Services, Chapter 5, Requests to Expedite Applications or Petitions [1 USCIS-PM A.5].
[^ 6] See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(8). See 8 CFR 214.11(e)(2)(i). See Volume 1, General Policies and Procedures, Part E, Adjudications, Chapter 6, Evidence, Section F, Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny [1 USCIS-PM E.6(F)].
[^ 7] See Chapter 8, Annual Cap and Waiting List [3 USCIS-PM B.8].
[^ 8] See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(19).
[^ 9] See Chapter 14, Confidentiality Protections and Prohibitions Against Disclosure [3 USCIS-PM B.14].
[^ 10] See 8 CFR 103.2(b)(19). See 8 CFR 214.11(k)(9)(i).
[^ 11] See 8 CFR 214.11(k)(9)(ii).
[^ 12] See 8 CFR 212.1.
[^ 13] See 8 CFR 212.1(g). See 8 CFR 212.1(o).
[^ 14] See 8 CFR 103.3.
[^ 15] See Chapter 14, Confidentiality Protections and Prohibitions Against Disclosure [3 USCIS-PM B.14].
[^ 16] See 8 CFR 214.11(d)(10).
[^ 17] See 8 CFR 103.3.