Requirement 4: You have cooperated with or are excused from cooperating with reasonable requests from legal authorities.
In the question called Am I eligible for a T-visa?, we list all of the requirements that you have to meet to be eligible to apply for a T-visa. In this section, we explain the fourth requirement in detail.
Requirement 4: You have cooperated with or are excused from cooperating with reasonable requests from legal authorities. What does “cooperating with legal authorities” mean?
If you are over 18 years old and you do not qualify for a “trauma exception,” you must cooperate with law enforcement authorities’ “reasonable requests” for assistance in prosecuting the trafficking crime.1 Whether a request is “reasonable” depends on the particular situation. Things that will be considered include:
- general law enforcement practices (what law enforcement usually does when catching and prosecuting criminals);
- your experiences (what you were subjected to by the trafficker); and
- your circumstances regarding fear, physical and mental trauma, and your age and maturity.2
If you are under 18, you do not have to cooperate with authorities although you can if you want to.3
Note: If a survivor of human trafficking has suffered psychological or physical trauma, and is unable to cooperate with law enforcement because of that trauma, s/he may qualify for the “trauma exception” and no longer be required to cooperate.4
1 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(T)(i); 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(b)(3)
2 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(h)
3 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(b)(3)(i)
4 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(T)(i)(III)(bb); 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(b)(3)(ii)