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It’s unfortunate to think about, but in many parts of the world, human trafficking is something millions of people are subjected to each year. As such, the United States has created a nonimmigrant status that allows those who have endured the unthinkable to seek entry into the country. If you have been a victim of human trafficking, understanding how a New York immigration lawyer can help you seek entry into the country is critical. The following blog explores what a T visa is, the eligibility requirements, and why it’s in your best interest to obtain legal counsel for this process.

What Is a T Visa?

A T visa allows those who were subject to severe forms of human trafficking to seek entry into the United States. In many instances, severe means either sex or labor trafficking. Generally, this allows the victim to enter and work in the United States.

A T visa will last for four years, but the applicant will be able to apply for a status adjustment when in the country by filing a Form 1-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Similarly, if you have been in the United States for three straight years since your lawful admission via  T visa, you can apply for a green card.

What Are the Requirements?

As with any type of visa, an applicant looking for a T visa must meet certain eligibility requirements. For example, they must meet the following circumstances:

  • Were or are a victim of severe human tracking
  • Are present in the United States, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, or a port of entry as a result of trafficking
  •  Have complies with reasonable requests from law enforcement in the investigation of human trafficking
  • However, if you were under 18 when one of the acts occurred or are unable to cooperate because of physical or psychological trauma, you likely do not need to demonstrate cooperation
  • Would suffer extreme hardship or harm if removed from the United States

To apply for a T visa, you will file a Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status. In addition, you must include a personal statement of the kind of trafficking you endured, evidence from law enforcement, and Form 1-914, Supplement B, Declaration of Law Enforcement Office for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. This helps provide additional information that you complied with law enforcement.

Unlike other forms of visas, a T visa does not have a filing fee.

If you have been the victim of human trafficking, a fresh start in the United States can help you feel safer and more removed from the trauma you endured at the hands of others. However, applying for a visa can be an overwhelming process. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your circumstances and learn how the dedicated team at the Law Office of Jason A. Dennis can help you. We understand the horrors you have faced as a victim of trafficking, which is why our compassionate team wants to help you. We can handle the legal complexities of this matter so you can focus on healing. Contact us today to learn how we will fight for you.