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UPDATED May 6, 2013

T-Visa Laws for Trafficking Victims

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The following information should not be considered as a legal opinion on specific facts or as a substitute for legal counsel.  Circumstances around human trafficking and applying for a T-visa are usually complicated and need a case-by-case analysis.  Please consult an attorney who understands the unique issues surrounding human trafficking BEFORE submitting anything to USCIS.  For more information about services for trafficked victims prior to obtaining T-visa status, you can contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center's Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or you can send a text to 233733, which corresponds with the letters BeFree on your phone.

Who is eligible for a T-visa

back to topAm I eligible for a T-visa?

You may be eligible for a T-visa if you:

  • Are a victim of severe human trafficking;
  • Would face extreme hardship if forced to leave the United States; and
  • Are willing to assist law enforcement prosecute the people responsible.*
To obtain a T-visa, you must prove on your application that you meet all of the following four requirements:
(1) You are or have been the victim of a severe form of human trafficking;
(2) You are in the United States, American Samoa, or at a port-of-entry to the United States or American Samoa because of human trafficking;
(3) You would suffer extreme hardship if removed or forced to leave; and
(4) You satisfy one of the following three conditions:
  • You have cooperated and are willing to cooperate with reasonable requests for assistance by federal, state, or local law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting crimes related to human trafficking; or
  • You are excused by the attorney general from failing to cooperate with reasonable requests for assistance by federal, state, or local law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting crimes related to human trafficking because of physical or psychological trauma; or
  • You are under 18 years of age.*
Note: These above requirements are defined and explained in more detail in the next section, Explanation of eligibility requirements.

* 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(T)(i)(I)-(IV)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topI think I am eligible for a T-visa. Will I definitely get one if I apply?

Not necessarily.  There is a limit on the number of T-visas available nationally (5,000), which means that even if you satisfy all of the requirements, you could still be denied a T-visa.  If you are otherwise qualified to receive a T-visa, but are denied one because of the limit, then you will be placed on a waiting list.*  For more information on how to apply for a T-visa, see How do I apply for a T-visa?

* 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(m)

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