What is an T Visa?
A T visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa that allows victims of human trafficking to remain in the United States and to eventually become eligible for lawful permanent residence. It was created as part of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. To be eligible for a T visa, the applicant must demonstrate that they are a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, that they have complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of the traffickers, and that they would suffer extreme hardship if they were removed from the US. A T visa is valid for four years, after which the holder may apply for permanent residence.
Who Qualifies for T Visa?
To qualify for a T Visa, an individual must meet the following criteria:
1. The individual must have been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
2. The individual must have been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons in the United States, or have been found to have been a victim of such trafficking in the United States.
3. The individual must have complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking.
4. The individual must show that he or she would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States.
5. The individual must demonstrate that his/her presence in the United States is necessary to assist in the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking.
How to Apply for T Visa?
In order to apply for a T Visa, you must meet certain eligibility requirements and provide evidence of the following:
1. You are or were a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, which means you were forced, coerced, or deceived into labor or services, or held in involuntary servitude.
2. You are physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port-of-entry due to trafficking.
3. You are willing to cooperate with a law enforcement agency in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking.
In addition to these requirements, you must also provide evidence that you:
1. Have suffered physical or mental abuse due to being trafficked.
2. Are unable to return to your country of origin due to fear of persecution or harm.
3. Are at least 18 years of age at the time the petition is filed.
Once you have submitted all necessary documentation and established your eligibility, you will receive a decision from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS). If approved, you may be eligible for humanitarian benefits and services such as psychological counseling, legal assistance, and shelter. You will also be eligible for work authorization and may apply for green card status after three years of continuous physical presence in the U.S.
What is the T Visa Interview Process?
The T Visa interview process is designed to ensure that those applying for a T Visa are eligible to receive one. It is a two-step process that begins with an application for the T Visa, which must be completed and submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The application must include all required documents, such as a valid passport or other travel document, proof of identity and proof of relationship to the petitioner (if applicable). The petitioner must also submit evidence of being a victim of trafficking and being eligible for a T Visa. This evidence may include police reports, medical records, witness statements and other documents showing the person was trafficked.
The second step in the T Visa interview process is an interview with a USCIS officer. During the interview, the applicant will be asked questions about their background, their current situation, and their eligibility for the T Visa. The officer will also assess their credibility by examining evidence submitted with the application and verifying any statements made by the applicant.
At the conclusion of the interview, the officer will make a decision about whether or not to grant the applicant’s request for a T Visa. If granted, the applicant will receive a letter from USCIS confirming that they have been approved for the T Visa.
What are the Required Documents for T Visa?
To apply for a T Visa, an applicant must submit the following documents:
1. A petition for a T visa (Form I-914) with all necessary supporting documents and evidence, which must include a statement from the relevant law enforcement agency indicating that the applicant assisted or is likely to assist in investigations or prosecutions of human trafficking violations.
2. Evidence that the applicant is or has been a victim of human trafficking, such as police or medical reports, court documents, or sworn statements from knowledgeable individuals.
3. Evidence of any restrictions placed on the applicant’s freedom of movement due to the trafficking, such as travel documents or other forms of identification.
4. Evidence that the applicant is admissible to the United States, such as a copy of passport and visa, or evidence of any relief from removal that has been granted by the U.S. government.
5. A signed affidavit confirming that the applicant is a victim of severe forms of trafficking in persons and that he or she is willing to cooperate with reasonable requests for assistance in investigations or prosecutions of traffickers.
6. Evidence that the applicant satisfies the continuous physical presence requirement, if applicable.
7. Passport-style photographs taken within 30 days of filing the Form I-914.
8. Supporting documents relating to any derivatives who are also applying with the principal T visa applicant, if applicable.
9. Documentation showing that the applicant faces extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal from the United States, if applicable.
10. Any other relevant documentation or evidence to support the applicant’s eligibility for a T visa.
What is the T Visa Fee?
The filing fee for a T Visa application is currently $495. Those who are under the age of 21 and are applying as the principal beneficiary of the visa can qualify for a reduced fee of $290. Additionally, those who demonstrate extreme economic hardship may qualify for a fee waiver.
What is the T Visa Processing Time?
The processing time for a T Visa varies depending on the individual applicant’s circumstances and the location and workload of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office where the application is filed. Generally, it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to process a T Visa application. In some cases, the application process may take longer than a year due to backlogs in processing or if additional information or evidence is required. Additionally, there may be additional processing times associated with any dependents who are included in the application. Therefore, it is important to discuss processing times with an attorney who is knowledgeable about T Visas.
T Visa Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a T Visa?
A T Visa is a special type of visa which provides protection and assistance for victims of human trafficking who have been identified by law enforcement authorities. The visa allows victims of human trafficking to remain in the United States for up to four years and to apply for permanent residence after three years.
2. Who is eligible for a T Visa?
To be eligible for a T Visa, an individual must be a victim of a severe form of human trafficking, have experienced substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the trafficking, and be willing and able to assist law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the trafficking crime. The individual must also meet other eligibility criteria, such as being present in the U.S. through no fault of their own, or having been present in the U.S. since December 21, 2000.
3. What benefits are available to T Visa holders?
T Visa holders may be eligible for certain benefits, such as work authorization, access to medical services and public benefits, protection from removal (also known as “deportation”) from the United States, and the ability to apply for permanent residence after three years.
4. How long does it take to get a T Visa?
The processing time for a T Visa application can vary depending on the individual case. Generally, it can take several months to receive a decision from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).