What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a punishable crime involving adults or children exploited by others for labor, sexual purposes, and more. It can be described as modern slavery. However tough to conceptualize, human trafficking is common. It is hard to imagine that this continues in our country or any country, but it is not uncommon. In 2000, Congress passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act to address the issue. Through this act, Human Trafficking was made a federal crime, provided means to prosecute offenders, protect victims, create the T Visa, and more. Congress recognized that victims of human trafficking (particularly vulnerable immigrants) might be reluctant to assist in prosecuting traffickers. Through the T Visa, they can be protected and obtain a Visa allowing them to live and work in the US temporarily.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of human trafficking and needs to seek protection through the T Visa, contact me today. I have vast experience helping others like you, and I’m confident we can resolve for you. Contact my office at (857) 347-3701 to get started.
What is a T Visa?
The T Visa provides an option for immigrants to remain in the US for a period of typically four years. Eligible participants will apply through Form I-914 and Form I-914B. Once approved, the T Visa immigrant will be expected to continue cooperating with reasonable law enforcement requests for investigating and prosecuting human traffickers. Suppose the T Visa immigrant complies with reasonable requests from law enforcement and satisfies other requirements (no criminal charges or behavior, for example). In that case, they can apply for permanent resident status or a green card.
Certain immediate family members are also able to apply for T Visa status. This will allow them to live and work in the US as well. Immediate family members could be the victim’s spouse and parents if the victim is under 21. At the same time, they applied for their T Visa, unmarried siblings under age 21, and in some cases, other immediate family members.
There is a cap of 5,000 a year of T Visas available, but it is rarely met. This can mean that if the requirements for the T Visa are satisfied, the applicant has a good chance of obtaining their visa.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the T Visa?
A few requirements exist for applicants wishing to obtain their T Visa status. Firstly, they must pass a criminal background check, not have other immigration violations on file, and have complied with reasonable requests by law enforcement to aid in prosecuting or investigating human traffickers. The applicant must also be considered a victim (past or present) of human trafficking, either through labor or sexual nature, as defined by federal law. The applicant must be in the US, at a US port of entry due to trafficking, in American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. It is also important to note that if the victim would suffer intense danger or unusual hardship due to being deported, the USCIS will also review their case. In some cases, even if the other requirements aren’t met, they will determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
What Else Will the USCIS Review to Determine Eligibility?
The USCIS will review eligibility requirements to ensure the applicant’s information/application will suffice. It can be beneficial to provide further evidence either through the I 914B form or other supporting evidence.
The I-914B is a form or T visa declaration that can be used as additional evidence that an applicant is a good candidate for the T visa. It is not required but rather supplemental. The declaration can be further evidence that the applicant has complied with reasonable requests to aid in investigation and prosecution efforts and give more evidence of the victim being subjected to human trafficking acts. The visa declaration can be created and signed by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges, and more.
Other supporting evidence that the victim can gather would be medical records, affidavits, and court documents. If they don’t have a visa declaration, they must provide evidence on their own of their efforts to comply with reasonable requests made by law enforcement regarding human trafficking investigations.
Why Hire Tolan Law?
I have worked with several clients over the years to help them to understand their rights and to protect them. The T-Visa laws can be complex, but I can help you know what is needed to obtain one and continue in a safe environment moving forward. Contact my office today at (857) 347-3701.