Immigrants who are victims of sex or labor trafficking may be eligible to apply for a T Visa. If their application is approved, they will be able to remain in the United States pending the resolution of the trafficking investigation. T visa recipients are eligible to receive public benefits such as SSI and food stamps, and for some, a T visa can be a pathway to an eventual Green Card and citizenship.
The T Visa immigration lawyers at Bassey Immigration Law Center help immigrant sex and labor trafficking victims to prepare and file T visa applications. Our services are tailored to help immigrants manage the complex application process and give themselves the best possible chance for approval.
When is an immigrant eligible to file a T Visa application?
In addition to the basic T Visa requirement that an applicant must show that he or she is a victim of severe human sex or labor trafficking, a T Visa applicant must show that he or she:
- Has provided valuable assistance to law enforcement authorities that are investigating crimes involving human trafficking
- Has entered the United States or certain designated U.S. territories as a result of human trafficking
- Would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual or severe physical or mental harm if he or she was forced to depart from the U.S.
The U.S. Congress limits the number of T Visa applications that its Customs and Immigration Service can process in any given year. Immigrants should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to verify that the limit has not yet been reached when they intend to submit their own T Visa applications.
How is a T Visa application different from a self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)?
VAWA self-petitions can be filed by victims who were married or directly related to the individual who trafficked them. In some cases, a trafficking victim can both apply for a T Visa and submit a VAWA self-petition.
VAWA self-petitions are generally processed in less time and allow applicants to qualify for a work permit while their petition is under review. VAWA self-petitions also do not require the same level of cooperation and assistance with law enforcement authorities that is mandated under the T Visa application standards. Last, VAWA self-petitions are more inclusive in terms of the type of abuse that will make an immigrant eligible for a favorable decision and provide an expedited path for lawful permanent residency.
Contact Bassey Immigration Law Center
The T Visa immigration attorneys at Bassey Immigration Law Center help immigrant victims of sex and labor trafficking to file and process their T Visa applications and explore other avenues for U.S. residency, including VAWA self-petitions.