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Legal Information: Federal

Immigration

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Updated: 
June 7, 2019

How do I apply for a T-visa?

To apply for a T-visa, the first step should be to get a lawyer, if possible, who is familiar with T-visa applications to help you. Next, you will need to get and fill out an “Application for T Nonimmigrant Status,” which is called Form I-914.

Along with the completed Form I-914, you will need to submit to USCIS:

  • a personal statement describing how you were a victim of trafficking; and
  • ​supporting evidence to show that you meet the eligibility requirements.1

To learn more about eligibility requirements, see Am I eligible for a T-visa? To learn more about what documents you can submit to prove that you meet the eligibility requirements, see What must be included in the T-visa application?

Although it is not required, you are encouraged to submit a “Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons,” which is Form I-914 Supplement B. This form is also known as a law enforcement agency (LEA) endorsement. A federal, state, or local law enforcement authority can fill out a Form I-914 Supplement B. A completed Form I-914 Supplement B acts as proof that you:

  • are a victim of a severe form of trafficking; and
  • have complied with reasonable requests for assistance in the investigation or prosecution.1

You can find the necessary forms including the I-914 and I-914 Supplement B at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

We strongly encourage you to contact an immigration attorney to assist you in completing and submitting an application for a T-visa to the USCIS. To locate a local attorney, please visit our Finding a Lawyer page and enter your state. For national immigration organizations, go to our National Organizations - Immigration page.

1 See Instructions for Form I-914, “Application for T Nonimmigrant Status”

When I apply for a T-visa, can my immediate family members be included on my application?

T-visa status is available for certain qualifying family members of a T-visa applicant, which is called derivative T-visa status.1 The following family members could qualify:

If you are under 21 years old, you can apply for T-visa status for your:

  • spouse;
  • children;
  • parents; and/or
  • unmarried sisters or brothers under the age of 18.2

If you are over 21 years old, you can apply for your:

To apply for T-visa status for a family member, you must fill out and submit an “application for immediate family member of T-visa recipient,” known as a Form I-914 Supplement A. A “T-visa recipient” means someone granted a T-visa, but you do not have to wait until you get the T-visa to apply for your family members. You may file the I-914 Supplement A at the same time that you file your application for a T-visa, or you can file it at a later time.4

Employment authorization is not automatic for derivative T-visa status. If you need employment authorization for your immediate family members, you will need to complete a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, in addition to Form I-914 Supplement A.5

Note: When a spouse obtains derivative T-visa status, it is sometimes called T-2 status. When a child receives derivative T-visa status, it is sometimes called T-3 status. When a parent receives T-visa status, it is sometimes called T-4 status.

1 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(1)
2 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(1)(ii)
3 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(1)(i)
4 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(2)
5 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(10)

What must be included in the T-visa application?

When you or your lawyer file your completed Form I-914, you will need to submit supporting evidence, in the form of documents, affidavits, etc., that demonstrate that you meet the requirements for obtaining a T-visa.

1) To prove that you are the victim of a severe form of trafficking, you can submit an endorsement from a law enforcement agency (LEA) on Form I-914 Supplement B, along with the Form I-914. The Supplement B form is considered “primary evidence” that a person is a survivor of a severe form of human trafficking. If you do not have an LEA endorsement (Form I-914 Supplement B), you can submit “secondary evidence,” which can include your statement, affidavits of other witness, transcripts, court documents, police reports, medical reports, etc. If available, you should also include any documents that show you were granted “continued presence status” as a survivor of human trafficking.

2) To prove that you are in the United States, a U.S. Territory, American Samoa, or a port of entry into the United States, a U.S. territory, or American Samoa because of human trafficking, you do not necessarily need to file additional documents. However, you will want to be sure that the documents and statements that you submit include the following information:

  • when, where, and how you arrived;
  • why you were trafficked;
  • that you are in the United States, a U.S. Territory, American Samoa, or a port of entry into the United States, a U.S. territory, or American Samoa because of your victimization; and
  • if you escaped from your traffickers before you contacted law enforcement, proof that you did not have a clear chance to leave the United States due to circumstances such as trauma, injury, lack of resources, and lack of travel documents that were seized by the traffickers.

Note: If you voluntarily left the United States any time after the severe act of trafficking, USCIS will not consider you as “being present” because of trafficking, unless your re-entry into the U.S. was the result of ongoing victimization or a new incident of severe trafficking.

3) To prove that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal from the United States, evidence of the following may be included:

  • your age and personal circumstances;
  • any serious physical or mental illness that requires special attention that is not available in the foreign country;
  • the nature and extent of the trauma suffered as a result of your victimization;
  • the impact of losing access to the U.S. courts and criminal justice system;
  • stigmatization due to being the victim of trafficking;
  • the likelihood of re-trafficking; and/or
  • the presence of civil unrest or civil conflict.

4) This section only applies to victims of severe trafficking who are 18 years of age or older: To prove that you have cooperated with reasonable requests from law enforcement, you may submit the following documents:

  • an endorsement from a law enforcement agency (LEA) on Form I-914 Supplement B;
  • statements from state and local law enforcement; and/or
  • evidence that shows that you are seeking or have sought law enforcement assistance.

5) Miscellaneous documents and additional forms: Additionally, depending on your circumstances, you may require one or more of the following forms:

  • If you are inadmissible because of grounds specified in INA Sec. 212, you should file a Form I-601 “Application for Waiver on Grounds of Inadmissibility.”
  • If you are inadmissible (because you are currently outside of the United States and require advance permission to enter the United States), you should file Form I-192 “Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant.”
  • If you are also applying on behalf of derivative family members and would like to get employment authorization for them, you will need to file a Form I-765. (You do not need to file Form I-765 to receive an employment authorization document for yourself because you get it automatically if your T-visa is approved.)1

1 8 C.F.R. § 214.11; See also Instructions for Form I-914, “Application for T Nonimmigrant Status”

How much does it cost to apply for a T-visa?

Here is a list of the possible forms that a person may need to file and the costs (if any) of each.

  • There is no application fee for Form I-914 or Form I-914 Supplements A or B.
  • There is no biometric (fingerprint) fee.
  • There is a $410 fee for Form I-765, Employment Authorization Document (EAD), plus an $85 biometric services fee, for each family member for whom you are seeking derivative T-visa status. It is possible to waive this fee upon a showing of financial hardship.
  • There is a $930 fee for Form I-192 (to waive grounds of inadmissibility). The fee may be waived upon a showing of financial hardship.1

Note: These costs are accurate as of May 2019.

1 USCIS website - Forms

Can I find the forms online?

You can download the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services application forms from the USCIS website. However, we strongly encourage you to contact an immigration attorney to assist you in completing and submitting an application for a T-visa to the USCIS. To locate a local attorney, please visit our Finding a Lawyer page and enter your state. For national immigration organizations, go to National Organizations – Immigration.

Do I need a lawyer to apply for a T-visa?

It is very important that you work with an attorney (or initially with an advocate) familiar with T-visas. The forms and laws are confusing and you may make a mistake or leave something out that results in USCIS denying your application. Because applicants who are unlawfully present in the United States are subject to removal (deportation) if their applications are denied, we strongly encourage you to contact an immigration attorney before filing an application. To find an immigration attorney, see our Immigration listings under National Organizations and / or our Finding a Lawyer page for a lawyer near you.

Where do I send my T-visa application?

According to the Instructions for Form I-914, you can send your T-visa application to:

USCIS
Vermont Service Center
ATTN: VAWA / T-Visa Unit
75 Lower Welden St.
Saint Albans, Vermont 05479-0001

Again, we strongly suggest that it is your lawyer, not you, sending in your application.