Discover the path from victim to survivor with the T visa, a lifeline for human trafficking survivors in the United States. Continue reading to explore how this visa opens doors to safety, security, and a new life with these key points:
- Eligibility: Learn about the possibility of obtaining lawful permanent residence for T visa holders.
- Requirements: Understand the conditions T visa holders must meet to apply for LPR status.
- Recent Updates: Discover recent changes aimed at improving protection and support for trafficking victims.
Can A T Visa Holder Apply For Lawful Permanent Residence?
T visa holders may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency (LPR), commonly known as a green card. Lawful permanent residence requires T visa holders to meet specific criteria and follow the appropriate application process.
To apply for LPR status, T visa holders must meet the following conditions:
- Be physically present in the United States for at least three years since the T visa approval date.
- Have cooperated with law enforcement during the investigation or prosecution of the trafficking crime.
T visa holders can pursue LPR status through adjustment of status or consular processing, depending on whether they are currently in the United States or abroad. Those in the United States can go through an adjustment of status. For those outside the country, they can go through consular processing.
Being eligible for LPR status does not automatically guarantee approval. Each case is evaluated individually by USCIS, and approval hinges on meeting the specified criteria and satisfying all application requirements. USCIS may deny an application if they find the applicant ineligible or if there are other grounds for denial.
What Recent Updates In T Visa Policy and Legislation Have There Been?
Recent developments in T visa policy and legislation have occurred, aiming to enhance protection and support for trafficking victims and streamline the application process. Key updates include:
- The expansion of eligibility criteria to include victims of severe trafficking, even if currently outside the United States. This change recognizes that victims may have been trafficked across borders and are in need of protection and assistance.
- An increased annual cap on the number of T visas issued, from 5,000 to 10,000.
- Improved access to essential services for T visa applicants, such as medical care, housing, and legal assistance.
- Measures for expedited processing by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), benefiting victims in urgent situations.
- Emphasis on collaboration between victims and law enforcement agencies, requiring detailed statements about trafficking incidents and cooperation in investigations.
- Provision for "continued presence" for victims awaiting T visa decisions, allowing them to remain legally in the United States.
- Family reunification through derivative T visas for qualifying family members.
What Are The Steps In The T Visa Application Process?
The U visa application process is somewhat involved. There are many steps to it, including the following:
- Determine if you are eligible.
- Collect relevant evidence demonstrating you are a victim, cooperate with law enforcement, and provide other supporting documents.
- Complete and submit the T visa application form, pay the associated fees, and provide the necessary supporting documents.
- Wait for the USCIS to complete its review of your application.
- If approved, you will be issued a T visa.
- You may file an appeal or motion to reconsider the decision if denied.
For more information on Lawful Permanent Residence For T-Visa Holders, an initial consultation is your next best step.