Human trafficking impacts an estimated 2.4 million victims each year often, forcing them to endure severe sexual exploitation. As part of recent efforts to protect individuals abused by human traffickers, the United States Congress established the T visa permit through the 2000 Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act.
Acquiring a T visa can grant a human trafficking survivor a new lease on life, but the application process can be tricky to navigate without the guidance of a seasoned visa attorney. Fortunately, a Wheaton T-visa lawyer could protect your best interests and boost the chances of a successful application.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) established four criteria that an applicant must meet to receive a T visa permit. First and foremost, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she suffered a “severe form of trafficking in person,” which, according to 22 U.S. Code §7102(8) may involve smuggling for labor or sexual exploitation.
Second, the applicant must have either already cooperated with the U.S. law enforcement authorities or be willing to meet reasonable requests for assistance finding the traffickers. In some instances, an applicant could be exempt from these requirements because he or she is under 18 or sustained physical or psychological trauma.
Third, the applicant must currently reside within U.S. borders, a U.S. territory, or at a port of entry as a direct consequence of being trafficked there.
Fourth and finally, the applicant must establish that their removal from U.S. territory would cause “extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm,” which generally entails substantial physical or psychological harm beyond just economic or social damage. A compassionate T visa attorney in Wheaton could clarify all these prerequisites and help compile evidence about someone’s human trafficking situation.
Anyone considering a T visa can begin the application process by submitting Form I-914, along with Supplements A and B to respectively indicate that he or she would like to bring one or more immediate family members to the United States. During this stage, an applicant could also demonstrate that he or she reasonably cooperated with law enforcement. Applicants could also submit evidence like police reports, court documents and transcripts, affidavits, or news articles instead of filing supplement B.
Anyone who might not be able to enter the United States outside of his or her potential T visa status might also need to submit Form I-192 to secure advance permission for nonimmigrant entry. An applicant who wants to seek employment authorization, change his or her legal status, or apply for travel documents might need to submit further documentation. Applying for one of these permits can be problematic, but fortunately, a T visa lawyer in Wheaton could help make everything simpler.
T visas can provide lifesaving protection to individuals who survived human trafficking. However, you must meet many requirements to receive this visa, and missing even a single piece of crucial information could disqualify your application.
Working with a knowledgeable Wheaton T visa lawyer could help preserve your future ambitions during this complex and multifaceted proceeding. Call today to discuss your options.