The T visa was established to help combat human trafficking. It is intended to provide immigration relief to those who are the victims of human trafficking. A T visa allows a survivor to work temporarily in the United States and provides a path to a green card.
A T visa allows a holder four years of lawful immigration status and four years of employment authorization. A T visa holder can also apply for a green card if they meet certain criteria. A holder may be eligible for federal refugee benefits, which include cash assistance, food stamps, and job training. With a T visa, a holder also has the ability to petition for certain family members. For applicants over 21 years old, these family members include children and spouses. For those under 21, the family members can include spouses, children, parents, and unmarried siblings under 18 years old.
There is a cap of 5,000 T visas per year, but as of this date, the cap has never been met. T visas may be more quickly obtained compared to other forms of humanitarian relief such as a U visa or a VAWA visa. In addition, a T visa has a generous waiver. Prior criminal or immigration violations that may bar some types of immigration relief may be waived if they are connected to the trafficking or if it is in the national interest to do so.
In order to qualify for a T visa, an applicant must show that he or she is a survivor of a severe form of human trafficking or attempted trafficking. Trafficking includes both labor trafficking and sex trafficking. The individual must be physically present in the United States or at a port of entry as a result of the trafficking. The applicant must have remained in the United States since the last instance of trafficking. If the applicant is age 18 or older, they must demonstrate that they have complied with any reasonable request for assistance in investigating and prosecuting trafficking. The applicant must also demonstrate that they are at risk of suffering extreme hardship upon removal from the United States.
If you are interested in exploring your eligibility for a T visa, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, we can help you pursue the visa that is right for you. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.