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  • Claudia Ribas

TraffickingThe T-Visa: What is the Trafficking Visa and How You Can Apply for It



There is hope if you know someone who has been a victim of human trafficking. The T-visa is a specific type of visa that allows victims of human trafficking to remain in the United States and assist law enforcement with investigating and prosecuting human trafficking cases.

There are many benefits to this T visa, and you also need to know how to apply for it. This blog post will discuss the T-visa requirements and application process, as well as tips to help you ensure a smooth process as you await your T visa acceptance letter.

What is the T-Visa?

The T visa is a non-immigrant visa available to victims of human trafficking or their immediate family members who are willing to assist in an investigation or prosecution of the trafficking crime.

To qualify for a T visa, victims must demonstrate that they have been subjected to trafficking in persons, as defined by U.S. law. Victims must also show that they are willing to cooperate with law enforcement to investigate or prosecute the trafficking crime.

The T visa provides specific benefits to victims of human trafficking, including the ability to remain in America for four years, work authorization, and access to certain social services. Victims who cooperate with law enforcement may also be eligible for a "continued presence" in the United States, allowing them to remain in the country beyond four years.

What Are the Requirements for the T-Visa?

To qualify for a T-visa, an individual must demonstrate that:

  • They are or have been a victim of human trafficking in the United States;

  • They are willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking cases; and

  • They would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States.

A victim of human trafficking may be eligible for a T-visa if they can demonstrate that they have been subjected to:

  • force, fraud, or coercion for sex or labor trafficking; or

  • they may have been a victim of human trafficking.

To be eligible for a T-visa, an individual must also demonstrate that they are:

  • unable or potentially unwilling to return to their country of origin due to a fear of persecution, torture, or death;

  • cooperating with a law enforcement agency in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking; or

  • in need of medical or psychological treatment due to having been a victim of human trafficking.

If you fulfill these requirements, you may then apply for the T Visa. Here are some benefits to this T visa for individuals coming to the United States.

What Are the Benefits of a T-Visa?

The T-Visa is a non-immigrant visa available to victims of human trafficking who are willing to assist in the investigation or prosecution of their traffickers. The T-Visa allows victims to remain in the United States and provides them with certain protections and benefits, such as the ability to apply for work and travel authorization.

Additionally, the T-Visa allows victims to eventually apply for permanent residency in the United States. The T-Visa is a powerful tool that can help victims of human trafficking escape their situations and rebuild their lives. If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 for assistance.

How Can You Apply for the T-Visa?

There are four ways to apply for a T-Visa:

  1. You can apply directly to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

  1. You can apply through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Victims of Crime Unit.

  1. You can apply through a state or local law enforcement agency certified by DHS to accept T-Visa applications.

  1. You can apply through a designated nonprofit organization certified by DHS to accept T-Visa applications.

If you are applying for a T-Visa, you will need to submit evidence that you are a victim of human trafficking, as well as proof that you have cooperated or are willing to cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the human trafficking case.

You will also need to show that you would suffer extreme hardship if you were removed from the United States. There are many ways to do this, but a psychological evaluation immigrants complete can be one of the best ways to solidify proof of undue hardship.

How Can People Prove They Will Suffer Extreme Hardship?

If a person faces removal from the United States, a psychological evaluation can show that the person will experience significant mental anguish. The mental distress must be more than what would be experienced by a person in the same situation who is not facing removal. The psychological evaluation must also show that the person is not dangerous to themselves or others.

What Happens If The T-Visa Is Rejected?

The applicant may be placed in removal proceedings if a T-visa is rejected. Removal proceedings are a formal process in which the applicant can appear before an immigration judge and present their case for why they should be allowed to stay in America. If the judge finds that the applicant fails to meet the requirements for a T-visa, they may be ordered to leave the United States.

Get Your Psychological Report to Ensure Your Visa Application Acceptance

If you seek to apply for your U visa, you should consider a psychological report. Finding a mental health professional, you feel comfortable with and who can provide a thorough evaluation is essential. You should also ensure that you are honest with the mental health professional about your experiences with domestic violence.

To get started with your psychological evaluation, contact me today. I am a qualified psychotherapist with extensive experience assisting people with their visa applications. I am familiar with the process and requirements and can help you navigate the application process. Let’s get started on your visa application together.

Claudia Ribas LCSW

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