Human trafficking is a human rights abuse that involves the exploitation of a person for labor or sex. The Advocates assists people who are survivors of human trafficking to apply for immigration status and provides referrals to other services.
NOTE: Immigration proceedings and applications are incredibly complex. We do not recommend that anyone attempt to apply for a T visa without first contacting a reputable immigration attorney, such as The Advocates. If you are outside of our service area, you can find service providers at ImmigrationLawHelp.org.
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A “T visa” is a visa that provides status, and eventually a green card, to people who are survivors of sex or labor trafficking in the United States and, if over the age of 18, have complied with reasonable law enforcement requests to assist with the investigation or prosecution of the trafficking.
People who are granted T visas are allowed to:
- Live and work in the United States for 4 years, with possibility of extension;
- Apply for a green card (permanent residence) and eventually citizenship;
- File for their certain family members to come to the United States; and
Obtain federally-funded public benefits.
A person applies for a T visa by submitting an application with evidence to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The application must include evidence that the person: 1) is a survivor of sex or labor trafficking as defined by U.S. law; 2) is in the U.S. because of that trafficking; 3) reported the trafficking to law enforcement and has complied with requests to assist in the investigation (unless younger than 18); 4) would suffer a severe hardship if returned to their home country; and 5) is admissible to the U.S. or has been granted a waiver of inadmissibility.
For people in immigration removal (deportation) proceedings, they must apply for a T visa with USCIS and request that the immigration judge close or pause proceedings until USCIS makes a decision on the case.
There may be additional processes with law enforcement while you await the T visa, which would stop deportation, provide a work permit, and possibly allow access to additional benefits.