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T Visa for Victims of Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a modern day slavery, simply defined as the selling of human beings against their will and the perpetrators are called human traffickers. It isn’t a whispered legend from a bygone era; it’s a horrific and pervasive crime plaguing our interconnected world. The T Visa represents a crucial aspect of the United States’ response to combating human trafficking.

Imagine a young woman yearning for a chance to escape poverty and support her family.  A single father, struggling to keep a roof over his children’s heads, might be tempted by the promise of a well-paying job in the United States. Even a teenager fleeing war-torn devastation becomes a target, their desire for safety and a semblance of normalcy a vulnerability that traffickers ruthlessly exploit.

What is the T Visa?

The T Visa, is a non-immigrant visa specifically designed by the U.S. government to offer protection, support, and a path to safety for victims of human trafficking. It gives the victims protection and allows them to stay in the U.S. to help catch and punish the human traffickers. This visa grants temporary legal residence in the United States, shielding holders from deportation and allowing them to rebuild their lives.

Beyond safety, T Visas come with the authorization to work, potentially access public benefits and crucial support services like counseling and legal assistance.  However, to qualify, applicants must generally demonstrate a willingness to assist law enforcement in their pursuit of the traffickers, except for minors, those with severe trauma, or those with a well-founded fear of retaliation.

Requirements of a T Visa

The T Visa offers a lifeline, but to grasp it, you’ll need to meet specific eligibility criteria established by the USCIS. Here’s a breakdown of the key criteria:

  1. You must be or have been a human trafficking victim. This includes forced labor, sexual exploitation, or involuntary servitude.
  2. You are brought to a port of entry by the human traffickers. Or, you may already be in the U.S., the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Soma because of the traffickers.
  3. If you are at least 18 years old, you must do what you can to help law enforcement officers catch and punish human traffickers. If your body or mind is too badly injured to help, you usually won’t have to.
  4. You’re able to show that returning to your home country would be extremely dangerous.
  5. You are considered admissible to the U.S. If not, you can apply for a waiver of inadmissibility.
  6. Family members of T Visa applicants may be eligible for derivative T Visas which allows them to join the applicant in the U.S.

Our experienced T Visa lawyers can answer your questions on the requirements of the that may not be addressed here.

How to Apply for the T Visa

The application process for a T Visa involves crucial steps that demonstrates eligibility and helps the outcome. Here is a brief step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather necessary documents to support your claim of being trafficked.
  2. Complete the Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status.
  3. Submit supporting documents alongside the application. Details of the trafficking experience, relevant medical or psychological evaluations, etc.
  4. Undergo fingerprints and biometrics processing at USCIS.
  5. USCIS may schedule an interview to further assess your eligibility for a T Visa.
  6. Await the decision from USCIS on whether to be granted the T Nonimmigrant Status.
  7. If your application is approved, you will receive a T Visa stamp in your passport, along with a Form I-797 Approval Notice. This grants you temporary legal status in the U.S. for up to four years.
  8. As a T Visa status holder you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency (Green Card) after three years of continuous presence in the United States.

To help with your application process and have a greater chance at approval, you can schedule an appointment with one of our T visa attorneys.

Benefits of a T Visa

The benefits extend far beyond simply providing a safe haven in the United States. Here’s a closer look at the advantages associated with a T Visa:

  1. Protection from Deportation: The T Visa grants temporary legal residence in the U.S., shielding holders from deportation and allowing them to rebuild their lives without the constant fear of removal.
  2. Authorization to Work: T Visa holders are eligible to obtain work permits, empowering them to achieve financial independence.  This financial security allows them to access housing, healthcare, and other essential resources.
  3. Eligibility for Public Benefits (in some cases): In some instances, T Visa holders may qualify for certain public benefits programs.  These programs can provide additional support during their recovery process, particularly in areas like food assistance or housing assistance.
  4. Access to Support Services: The trauma inflicted by human trafficking can be profound. T Visa holders gain access to critical support services, including counseling, trauma therapy, and legal assistance.  These services are crucial for healing and navigating the complexities of their situation.
  5. Pathways to Permanent Residency: After three years of continuous presence in the country as a T Visa holder, individuals may be eligible to apply for green card through adjustment of status.


  • There is no time limit to apply for a T Visa.
  • Seeking legal assistance from an immigration attorney specializing in human trafficking cases is highly recommended, as the application process can be complex.

Contact CFUIS – T Visa Lawyer

Have you experienced human trafficking and are unsure if you qualify for a T Visa? The application process can feel overwhelming, and the memories you may carry can be painful.  We understand.

Our experienced T Visa lawyers can answer your questions with compassion and understanding.  They will listen to your concerns and guide you through each step of the process, offering the support and legal expertise you need during this challenging time.

Don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here for you. Call us at 813-298-7222, email us, fill our contact us form, or schedule an appointment.