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Barrera Legal Group can help you apply for a T-Visa also known as T nonimmigrant status.

T nonimmigrant status is a form of relief that stays or prevents removal from the United States while also providing work authorization to noncitizen victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons to remain in the United States for a period of four years where the noncitizen can later apply for a green card after three years in T-nonimmigrant status.

Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons is:

  • Sex trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, solicits, patronizes, or obtains a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, where the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or the person being induced to perform such act is under 18 years of age;

  • Labor trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

T -Visa Eligibility and Requirements

You may qualify for the T Visa if you meet certain requirements:

  • You are a past or current victim of trafficking.

  • You are physically present in the United States, or present in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa.

  • During a human trafficking investigation or prosecution, you satisfy requests, within reason, from law enforcement officials. Minors (17 years or younger) and victims suffering from physical or psychological trauma are exempt.

  • Demonstrate that removal from the United States would cause you extraordinary, undue, and excessive harm.

  • You are “admissible” to enter the United States legally. If not, you may use the Form I-192 (Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant) to apply for a waiver.

 

To meet the requirements of the T Visa, in nearly all cases, you must solely be in the United States as a result of a human trafficker’s actions where you may have been tricked, kidnapped, coerced, or employed to travel to the United States.

T-Visa Application Process

Documents Required for a T-Visa

You will need to submit the following legal forms and documentation to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, (USCIS) in order to apply for a T Visa:

  • Form I-914, Application for T Non Immigrant Status.

  • A personal statement detailing how you were a trafficking victim (part of the Form I-914).

  • Proof that you meet the conditions of eligibility.

 

  • Form I-914, Supplement B (Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons) is strong proof that you are a trafficking victim and have satisfied requests, within reason, from law enforcement officials. It is recommended that you to include the Form I-914, Supplement B (Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons) to demonstrate that you have the backing of law enforcement.

Filing for Family Members

If your application for a T visa is approved, qualifying members of your family may be eligible for a derivative T visa. You may petition on behalf of your qualifying family members only after your T Visa has been approved.
Which family members qualify for a derivative T visa depends on your age as the principal T Visa holder. You can apply for your spouse, children, parents, and unmarried minor siblings younger that 18 years of age if you are under 21 years old. You can apply for your spouse and children if you are 21 years or older.

Obtaining a Green Card from T-Visa Status.

One of the benefits of obtaining a T-Visa other than being protected from removal and receiving work authorization for a period of four years, is the fact that a T-Visa beneficiary after maintaining such status for a period of three years, is eligible to apply for a green card without the requirement of a family or employer as a petitioner.

The following criteria must be met by the T-1 beneficiary in order to qualify for the green card. 

  • The beneficiary must file immigration form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Legal Permanent Resident Status and pay the required fee.

  • The beneficiary must have been admitted in T-1 nonimmigrant status.

  • The beneficiary must maintain T-1 nonimmigrant status at the time of filing the form I-485.

  • The beneficiary must be physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least three years since admission as a T-1 nonimmigrant and maintain such status at the time of filing the form I-485 through the date the immigration service makes a decision on the Adjustment of Status Application.

  • The beneficiary must not have unreasonably refused to provide assistance in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity, from when the beneficiary was first admitted into T-1 status through the date the immigration service makes a decision on the application.

  • The beneficiary is not inadmissible under section 212(a)(3)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act which are acts related to involvement in Nazi persecution, genocide, or the commission of any act of torture or extrajudicial killing.

  • The beneficiary’s presence in the United States is justified on humanitarian grounds or to ensure family unity or is in the public interest.

  • The beneficiary merits a favorable exercise of discretion.

What to submit to the Immigration Service.

  • As previously indicated, Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the required filing fee;

  • Copy of Form I-797, Approval Notice;

  • Copies of every page of all passports or equivalent travel documents that were valid while you were in T-1 Visa nonimmigrant status (or a valid explanation of why you do not have this evidence);

  • Your own affidavit attesting to your physical presence and evidence of your continuous physical presence;

  • Evidence that you were lawfully admitted in T-1  Visa nonimmigrant status and continue to hold such status at the time you file Form I-485;

  • Evidence that adjustment of status is warranted as a matter of discretion on humanitarian grounds, to ensure family unity, or is otherwise in the public interest;

  • Two passport-style photographs;

  • Copy of your government-issued identity document with photograph;

  • Copy of your birth certificate;

  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record;

  • Certified police and court records of criminal charges, arrests, or convictions.

Approval

If the case is approved, USCIS will send a notice confirming approval through the mail, followed by the actual green card. 

 

Once the beneficiary receives the green card, there are no further steps, other than to wait for the necessary period of time to consider applying for naturalization.

Visit our Immigration related articles here.

 

 

 

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