What is a T-visa and what does it do?
A T-visa gives temporary nonimmigrant status to victims of "severe forms of human trafficking" on the condition that they help law enforcement officials investigate and prosecute crimes related to human trafficking.* However, if the victim is under 18 years of age, the law does not require cooperation with police to obtain a T-visa.*1
T-visas allow victims of severe forms of trafficking to stay in the United States for four years from the date the T-visa application is approved. However, sometimes it can be longer than four years if a law enforcement authority certifies (officially states) that having the victim remain in the country for longer is necessary for investigating or prosecuting the crime.*2
If a T-visa is granted, an employment authorization document (EAD) is also granted automatically, which means that the victim can legally work during his/her stay in the United States. There is no need to apply for separate employment authorization.*3 T-visa status may also be available for immediate family members of a T-visa applicant. Immediate family members include spouses, children, and parents of applicants under 18.*4
Note: T-visa status is also called “T-1 nonimmigrant status."
* 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(T)(i)
*1 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(T)(i)(III)(cc)
*2 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(p)(1)
*3 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(l)(4)
*4 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(o)