Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status (2024)

T nonimmigrant status is a temporary immigration benefit that enables certain victims of a severe form oftrafficking in personsto remain in the United States foran initial periodofup to4years if they havecomplied with any reasonable request forassistancefromlaw enforcement inthe detection,investigation,or prosecution of human traffickingor qualify for anexemption orexception. T nonimmigrant status is also availabletocertain qualifying family members of trafficking victims. T nonimmigrants are eligible for employment authorization andcertain federal and state benefits and services. T nonimmigrants who qualify may also be able to adjust their status and become lawful permanent residents (obtain a Green Card).

Congress created thisnonimmigrantstatus (commonly referred to as a T visa) in October 2000 as part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a crime in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to compel individuals to provide labor or services, including commercial sex. Traffickers often take advantage of vulnerable individuals, including those lacking lawful immigration status. T visas offer protection to victims and strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies todetect,investigate and prosecute human trafficking.

Eligibility for T Nonimmigrant Status

You may be eligible for T nonimmigrant status if you:

  • Are or were a victim of a severe form oftraffickingin personsas defined above
  • Arephysically presentin the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking;
  • Have compliedwith any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (unless youwereunder the age of 18at the timeat least one of the acts of trafficking occurredor you are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma;ifeither caseapplies, you may not need to show that you complied with reasonable requests from law enforcement);
  • Show that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States; and
  • Are admissible to the United States (If you are not admissible, you may be eligible for a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility. You may apply for a waiver using aForm I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant).

Applying for T Nonimmigrant Status

To apply for T nonimmigrant status, you must submit:

  • Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status, including a personal statementdescribingthe traffickingyouare or were subjected to;
  • Evidence to establish that you complied withanyreasonable requestfor assistancefrom law enforcement,orthat youqualify for an exception or exemption. You may submitForm I-914, Supplement B, Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons, to demonstrate that you are a victim of trafficking and that you have complied with any reasonable request to assist law enforcement. However, you may also choose to submit other evidence instead of or in addition to the Form I-914, Supplement B, such asrecordsofyourcommunication with law enforcement,trial transcripts, court documents, police reports, news articles, affidavits, or other relevant credible evidence;
  • Evidence to show that you meet all other eligibility requirements; and
  • Evidence to demonstrate thatyouare admissible, orForm I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant,seeking a waiver of applicable inadmissibility grounds,if you are inadmissible.

Fees

Applicants for T nonimmigrant status and T nonimmigrants are fee exempt from all forms through adjustment of status. You can find additional information on filing fees for our forms on ourFee Schedulepage.

Safe Address and Confidentiality Protections

If you do not feel safe receiving mail from USCIS at your home address, you may include a safe address on your application in the mailing address field. You do not have to be living at the safe addressfor USCIS to send mail to it. If you need to let USCIS know that you have changed your mailing address after you have filed an application for T nonimmigrant status,see our Change of Address Procedures for VAWA/T/U Cases and Form I-751 Abuse Waivers webpage.

If you apply for T nonimmigrant status with USCIS, any information about you or your application for T nonimmigrant status is strictly confidential and is protected by law. DHS can only share this information in very limited circ*mstances and may not deny your application based on evidence provided solely by your trafficker.

Eligibility for Qualifying Family Members

Certain qualifying family members may be eligible for T nonimmigrant status. Regardless of your age, you may apply for the following family members if they are in present danger of retaliation because of your escape from trafficking or cooperation with law enforcement:

  • Your parents;
  • Your unmarried siblings under 18 years of age; and
  • The children of any age or marital status of your qualifying family members who have been granted derivative T nonimmigrant status.

If your family members are not in present danger of retaliation, then follow the chart below

If you are…Then you may apply for your...
Under 21 years old
  • Spouse
  • Unmarried children who are under 21 years old
  • Parents
  • Unmarried siblings who are under 18 years old
21 years old or older
  • Spouse
  • Unmarried children who are under 21 years old

To apply for a qualifying family member, you must fileForm I-914, Supplement A, Application for Family Member of T-1 Recipient (PDF, 633.1 KB). You may file Form I-914, Supplement A, at the same time as your Form I-914, or while your application is pending, or while you are in T nonimmigrant status.

Employment Authorization

Whether you need to fileForm I-765, Application for Employment Authorizationdepends on whether you are a principal applicant or qualifying family member.

  • Principal applicants:If you are granted T nonimmigrant status, USCIS will provide you with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) at the same time your Form I-914 application is approved. The information from your Form I-914 is used to generate the EAD, which is also known as a work permit. You do not need to fileForm I-765 with the application for T nonimmigrant status.
  • Qualifying family members: If you are included as a qualifying family member on Form I-914, Supplement A, and you are living in the United States, you must submit Form I-765 if you want to apply for an EAD. You may file Form I-765 together with Form I-914, Supplement A, or later. If you live outside the United States, you are not eligible to receive an EAD until you are lawfully admitted to the United States. Do not file Form I-765 if you are living outside the United States.

After You Obtain T Nonimmigrant Status

T nonimmigrant status is generally granted for4years. In certain situations, you may be able to extend your T nonimmigrant statusby filing Form I-539,Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

Additionally, T nonimmigrants may be eligiblefor lawful permanent residence (a Green Card) after 3 yearsof continuous physical presencein the United Statessince they werefirst lawfully admitted as T nonimmigrants,oraftercontinuous physical presencein the United Statesduringthe investigation orprosecution of the traffickingwhichiscomplete, whichever occurs earlier. For detailed information about the eligibility requirements, seeGreen Card for a Victim of Trafficking (T Nonimmigrant).

Eligibility for Services and Benefits

If you have T nonimmigrant status, you are eligible for several federally funded benefits and services. If you do not yet have T nonimmigrant status but are a victim of trafficking, you may also be eligible for these benefits and services if:

Other Resources

  • T Visa Law Enforcement Certification Guide (PDF, 654.59 KB)
  • U nonimmigrant status:Victims of human trafficking may also be eligible to apply for U nonimmigrant status (U visa). SeeVictims of Criminal Activity, U Nonimmigrant Status.
  • Continued Presence:CCHTmay grant Continued Presence for an initial period of 2 years to victims of human trafficking to provide immediate temporary relief from removal from the United States. Victims must meet certain requirements, and only a federal law enforcement agency (such as ICE or the FBI) may request Continued Presence for an individual. Those granted Continued Presence are eligible to apply for employment authorization as well as federal services and benefits. For more information, seeCCHT’sContinued Presence fact sheet (PDF)andContinued PresenceResource Guide (PDF).
  • USCIS resources:Find information for victims and organizations that help them at.
  • Information for law enforcement:Learn about law enforcement’s role in supporting applications for T nonimmigrant status and other relief for victims of human trafficking and other crimes atInformation for Law Enforcement Agencies and Judges.

National Human Trafficking Hotline:To report suspected human trafficking and receive support and services to get help and information on how to stay safe, call1-888-373-7888. This is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls from anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in more than 200 languages. The hotline is operated by Polaris, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization.

Related Links

More Information

  • Green Card for a Victim of Trafficking (T Nonimmigrant)
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ) Status

Forms

  • I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status
  • Form I-914, Supplement A, Application for Immediate Family Member of T-1 Recipient (PDF, 633.1 KB)
  • Form I-914, Supplement B, Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons(for law enforcement use only) (PDF, 333.41 KB)
  • I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant
  • I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
  • I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

Victims of Human Trafficking Policy

  • USCIS Policy Manual
  • Policy and Procedural Memoranda on Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA)

Non-USCIS Links

Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status (2024)
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