The T-visa was established in October 2000 following the enactment of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA). Its primary purpose is to assist law enforcement in human trafficking investigations and to safeguard the victims. The T-visa allows these victims to remain in the U.S. and aid law enforcement in prosecuting those accountable for human trafficking offenses.
Qualifications for T-Visas
To be eligible for a T-visa, applicants must:
- Be recognized victims of human trafficking.
- Be present in the U.S., American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a U.S. port of entry due to human trafficking.
- Commit to assisting U.S. law enforcement in their investigations or prosecutions, given the assistance is reasonable, the individual is 18 or older, and there are no physical or psychological impediments.
- Demonstrate that deportation would lead to severe hardship.
- Be admissible to the U.S. If inadmissible, a Form I-192 might be required.
Starting the T-Visa Application Process
In order to initiate the T-visa application, one must submit a Form I-914 to the USCIS Vermont Service Center. T-1 visa applications aren’t accepted at U.S. embassies or consulates abroad. Due to the intricate nature of this process, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to enhance the chances of a swift visa approval.
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