Victims of human trafficking who meet a variety of legal requirements are eligible to remain in the U.S. in T visa status for 4 years, and eventually on a permanent basis, in lawful permanent resident status (green card).
In general, to qualify for T visa status, a foreign national must be able to demonstrate they were victims of a trafficking scheme – whether by fraud or coercion, and with the aim of enticing vulnerable individuals to provide labor or services, including commercial sex, against their will. A T visa applicant must also be able to document their support of law enforcement’s efforts to investigate and prosecute those carrying out the trafficking scheme.
A foreign national approved for T visa status is eligible to be issued an employment authorization and to receive various forms of public assistance benefits from local and/or federal agencies.
More specifically, to qualify, the foreign national must have been the victim of a “severe form of trafficking”, defined as:
- Sex trafficking: the foreign national is recruited, transported, solicited and/or otherwise engaged in sexual activity for money, and where the victim is lured to this activity by way of force or deception, including when the lured individual is a minor,
- Labor trafficking: the foreign national is recruited, transported and/or assigned to work, either by way of deception or coercion, and against their will, including where the work is presented as an opportunity to pay off an unconscionable financial obligation.