When I apply for a T visa, can I include my family members?
If requested, the government may also give T-visas to close relatives of trafficking victims.1 If the trafficking victim is over 21, s/he can ask for T visa status for his/her:
- spouse; and
If the trafficking victim is under 21, s/he can ask for T visa status for his/her:
- unmarried sisters and brothers under 18; and
- spouse; and
Under immigration law, “children” includes step-children who were under 18 years old at the time of the marriage between the parent and step-parent.3
Unlike the main T visa applicant (“principal applicant”), family members must ask for and pay for work authorization; they do not get it automatically when USCIS gives them T visa status.4 There is a hefty fee for this application, although fee “waivers” are available. There also are separate forms for family member (“derivative”) T visa applications and they must meet eligibility requirements themselves.5 For instance, like all T visa applicants, family members may have to explain why USCIS should give them a T visa status even if they committed prior acts that Congress has said are barriers to getting status in the U.S. (“grounds of inadmissibility”). Overcoming these grounds of inadmissibility is complicated and very difficult to do without help from an attorney with experience in immigration law.
To avoid USCIS denying your case and possibly putting you or your family members into immigration court proceedings, it is important to work with an attorney with experience in T visa cases. You can go to our Finding a Lawyer page to find a lawyer in your state. You can also ask one of the national immigration organizations on our National Organizations - Immigration page to help find you a lawyer.
1 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(1)
2 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(1)(i)
3 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(1)(ii); INA § 101(b)(1)
4 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(10)
5 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(k)(2)