Have you been forced to work long hours without pay against your will?
Have you been forced into prostitution in the U.S.?
Human trafficking most commonly known as “modern day slavery,” is a worldwide phenomenon resulting in a multi-billion dollar enterprise that physically harms and emotionally destroys millions of women, men, and children across the globe who are forced into sex trafficking and unpaid labor. The United States is not immune to the effects of human trafficking. As a way to combat human trafficking and to provide relief to human trafficking victims, the T visa was created to provide immigration relief to immigrant victims of a severe form of human trafficking.
Eligibility for the T visa requires the following:
- You must be a victim of trafficking who has suffered from a “severe form of trafficking of persons,” which includes: trafficking to engage in a commercial sex act in which the act is induced by force, fraud or coercion or which is performed by a trafficked person who is younger than 18 years of age; or, recruiting a person through force, fraud or coercion “for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery;
- Be present in the United States on account of being a victim of trafficking;
- Comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (or you are under the age of 18, or you are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma);
- Demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States.
Demonstrating Law Enforcement Cooperation
The law provides that an applicant show that he or she has cooperated with law enforcement. This can be demonstrated by a law enforcement agency certification (LEA), or secondary evidence of cooperation if the applicant does not have (or cannot get) the LEA certification. The LEA certification is viewed as primary evidence of cooperation, so it is important to try and obtain one if possible. Extreme Hardship
Extreme hardship is a requirement that appears in the T visa application and in other immigration applications. Extreme hardship is generally found after a consideration of many factors, including the age and personal circumstances of the applicant, any serious physical or mental ailments that require treatment in the United States, lack of access to U.S. court and the criminal justice system, and the likelihood of future harm by the traffickers. This component often requires detailed evidence and supporting documents.
Approval of a T visa will result in lawful status for a period of up to four years. After three years in continuous residence as a T visa holder, one can apply to adjust status to lawful permanent residence (green card). There are numerical limitations on how many T visas are issued per year. The current law provides that only 5,000 T visas may be issued in any given year. However, applicants with approvable T visa cases, will be provided employment authorization until a visa becomes available. Finally, a T visa applicant may also include family members in their application: spouses, children, or parents, (if the applicant is a child under the age of 21.) Let us assist you in obtaining T visa relief and protection. You do not have to navigate the process alone. We can help you prepare your case in the best possible manner.
For more information about working with an SGG attorney on your T visa case, click here or call us at 213.627.8997 today to book a detailed Case Evaluation appointment with an experienced family and removal immigration attorney.