If you became a victim of human trafficking and, as a result, were brought into the U.S., there is a special visa possibly available for you called the T Visa. With a T Visa, you are given nonimmigrant status, but after three years, you may be eligible for a Green Card.
You are eligible for a T Visa if you meet the following requirements:
- you became a victim of human trafficking,
- you were brought to the U.S. due to the trafficking,
- you comply with any reasonable request from a U.S. enforcement agency, and
- you can demonstrate extreme hardship if you are removed from the U.S.
Examples of human trafficking include, but are not limited to, being forced into: prostitution, pornography, slavery, debt bondage, and involuntary servitude.
T Visa Cap
There is a yearly limit on the number of T Visas granted. If the cap is reached and you are eligible for a T Visa, you are put on a waiting list and given priority for the next year.
Derivative T Visas for Family Members
T Visa applicants are able to petition for qualified family members and they are not subject to the T Visa cap. If you are under 21 years old, you may petition your spouse, children, parents and unmarried siblings under age 18. If you are 21 or older, you may petition your spouse and children.
Applying for a Green Card
After three continuous years of being in the U.S. with a T Visa, you may be eligible for a Green Card.
Family members with derivative T Visas are also eligible for Green Cards.
Difference from U Visa
Victims of Human trafficking may be eligible for both the U Visa (http://losangelesimmigrationcenter.com/u-visa) and the T Visa.
The main difference for the T Visa is that it requires a showing of extreme hardship if denied the Visa, which can be difficult to prove. The U Visa requires a showing of “substantial physical or mental abuse” as a result of the crime.
Another difference is that U Visa applicants must cooperate more thoroughly with law enforcement while T Visa applicants only need to comply with reasonable requests. Furthermore, if you are under 18 at the time of the victimization or unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma, you may qualify for a T Visa without having to assist law enforcement.
Finally, another difference is that with a T Visa, you must have been trafficked into the U.S. from a different country. With the U Visa, you could arrive to the U.S. first and become a victim of human trafficking while in the U.S.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible for either T Visa or U Visa with a subsequent possibility of receiving a Green Card in each case.
Contact Los Angeles Immigration Center for More Information
T Visas can be very complicated as they require information about the human trafficking and information about how it will affect you if denied. If you have questions about T Visas, it is best to contact the Los Angeles Immigration Center to discuss your case.
To schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney, please call (310) 933-4455 or fill out our online form with a brief description of your situation.