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Legal Information: Federal


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September 18, 2019

What must I prove to be eligible for T visa status?

To get a T visa, all of the following must be true:

  1. You are a victim of one of the two “severe forms of human trafficking,” sex trafficking or labor trafficking.
  2. You tried to be helpful to law enforcement officials investigating or prosecuting human trafficking crimes, such as the FBI, state or local police, district attorneys, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations. However, trafficking victims who are under 18 or too traumatized to cooperate with law enforcement may be excused from showing they helped in an investigation.
  3. You are in the United States, a U.S. territory, American Samoa, or at a port of entry to the United States, a U.S. territory, or American Samoa because of human trafficking.
  4. You would suffer “extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm” if you were removed (deported) or forced to leave.1

Note: These above requirements are defined and explained in more detail in the next section, Proving your case: T visa requirements.

1 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(T)(i); 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(b)

I think I am eligible for a T visa. Will I definitely get one if I apply?

Congress limited the number of T visas that USCIS is allowed to give each year to 5,000,1 but that limit is rarely reached. Most T visas are denied because the trafficking victim applicant:

  • did not provide enough information;
  • couldn’t show one of the requirements to get a T visa; or
  • didn’t file the right forms.

Working with an attorney with experience in human trafficking cases will help you avoid these problems, but even then USCIS may deny your case.

For more information on how to apply for a T-visa, see How do I apply for a T visa?

1 8 C.F.R. § 214.11(j)