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The T visa in human trafficking cases

Some South Carolina residents may wish to know more about the eligibility requirements for obtaining a T visa. The T visa was developed and created by Congress in 2000 as part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. It is a nonimmigrant visa, and its purpose is to protect victims while also investigating human trafficking crimes.

The T visa carries several conditions for the applicant in addition to being a victim of human trafficking. The individual must demonstrate that they would be in danger if they left the United States, must assist with the investigation if requested and must be eligible for admission to the country. It is possible to obtain a waiver for admission. In addition to being trafficked in the United States, individuals who are trafficked in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or American Samoa or stopped at a port of entry are eligible for the T visa.

Trafficking victims over the age of 21 may also apply for non-immigrant visas for their spouse and children, while those under the age of 21 may also apply on behalf of parents and unmarried children. Individuals applying for themselves must submit the proper forms along with three passport-appropriate photographs, evidence of trafficking and a personal statement regarding their situation.

Individuals and families of individuals who are victims of trafficking may wish to consult an attorney to ensure documentation is correct and that they understand their rights. If they meet the eligibility requirements, an attorney experienced in immigration and naturalization law may assist their client and alleviate some of the stress that can come with the visa application process.

Source: US CIS, "Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status", November 26, 2014

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