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May 6, 2013

Now that I have my T-visa, can I apply for permanent resident status?

As someone who has been granted T-visa status (also known as a T-1 nonimmigrant), you may apply for permanent residence if you:

  • Have been in the United States for:
    • a continuous period of at least three years after T-visa status is granted; OR
    • a continuous period during the investigation / prosecution of trafficking and once the investigation / prosecution is complete (whichever amount of time is shorter);
  • Have been a person of good moral character* since first being granted T-visa status;
  • Have complied with reasonable requests for assistance in the investigation / prosecution of acts of trafficking since first being granted T-visa status OR you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States; and
  • Are otherwise admissible to the United States as a lawful permanent resident (in other words, you are not inadmissible for any reason listed under INA Sec. 212).** 

To apply for permanent residence you must complete and submit an “application to register permanent residence or adjust status,” known as Form I-485, available at the USCIS website here.  As a T-visa holder, you will also need to complete Supplement E to Form I-485.  For instructions on completing Supplement E (also available through the USCIS website), click here.

Note: When a T-visa holder applies for permanent residence, it may also be called applying for adjustment of status.

* "Good moral character" (as mentioned above) is defined under Section 101(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, available by clicking here.  If you have committed any of the acts listed in section 101(f), you might NOT qualify as a person of good moral character. The list includes but it not limited to the following: criminal possession of narcotics (except simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana), habitual drunkenness, repeated gambling offenses, a conviction of an aggravated felony, imprisonment for a total of 180 days or more, and lying under oath (giving false testimony) to get benefits available through the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Note: The USCIS may make a negative finding based on criteria not listed in Section 101(f) (in other words, the list is “non-exhaustive”).
** 8 C.F.R. § 245.23