Victims of Human Trafficking and Other Crimes (T and U Visas)

USCIS helps protect victims of human trafficking and other crimes by providing immigration relief. Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life. Individuals and their families may also fall victim to other types of crime in the U.S. These crimes include rape, murder, manslaughter, domestic violence, sexual assault, and many others. The two types of immigration relief provided to victims of human trafficking and other crimes are U and T visas.

T Nonimmigrant Visa

In October 2000, Congress created the “T” nonimmigrant status by passing the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA). The legislation strengthens the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute human trafficking, and also offer protection to victims.

Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life. Traffickers often take advantage of poor, unemployed individuals who lack access to social services. The T Nonimmigrant Status (T visa) is a set aside for those who are or have been victims of human trafficking, protects victims of human trafficking and allows victims to remain in the United States to assist in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.

Eligibility for T Visa

You may be eligible for a T visa if you:

  • Are or were a victim of trafficking, as defined by law
  • Are in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking·
  • Comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (or you are under the age of 18, or you are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma)
  • Demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States
  • Are admissible to the United States. If not admissible, you may apply for a waiver

U Nonimmigrant Visa

Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes.

Eligibility for U Visa

You may be eligible for a U nonimmigrant visa if:

  • You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity.
  • You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.
  • You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on your behalf
  • You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf.
  • The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws
  • You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver

Qualifying Criminal Activities

Abduction

Abusive Sexual Content

Blackmail

Domestic Violence

Extortion

False Imprisonment

Female Genital Mutilation

Felonious Assault

Hostage

Incest

Involuntary Servitude

Kidnapping

Manslaughter

Murder

Obstruction of Justice

Peonage

Perjury

Prostitution

Rape

Sexual Assault

Sexual Exploitation

Slave Trade

Torture

Trafficking

Witness Tampering

Unlawful Criminal Restraint

Other Related Crimes