Is There a Visa Available for Human Trafficking Victims? | Chicago Immigration Attorney
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Is There a Visa Available for Human Trafficking Victims?

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IL immigration attorneyDeceitful promises of a new career and a better life in the United States is a very common fabrication that human traffickers will tell immigrants. Ranging from kidnapping to the purchase and resale of human beings, thousands of individuals are trafficked into sex slaves or labor services every day; human trafficking is one of the most prevalent crimes in the world. Nonimmigrant victims that are in the U.S. are often too afraid to come forward due to his or her legal status to remain in our country. The Victims of Trafficking in Persons (T) nonimmigrant visa can provide support to undocumented immigrants that fear deportation.

How to Qualify for a T Visa

According to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), the only federal agency allowed to designate immigrants as human trafficking victims and make them eligible for benefits and services is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In order to be considered for a T visa, the individual must:

  • Physically be in the U.S. for the trafficking
  • Be forced into a drastic form of human trafficking
  • Provide evidence that extreme adversity would result if they left the U.S.

When a victim is granted a T-1 visa, that individual is allowed to remain in the U.S. for as long as four years in order to help the authorities with the investigation and prosecution of human traffickers. If qualified, T-1 visa holders may also adjust their status to full-residency, and obtain their Green Card.

Different Categories of T Visas

Although government offices and embassies not located in the U.S. may not provide a T-1 visa, they can assist human trafficking victims to bring their family members into our country. Eligible family members of a T-1 visa holder may be able to apply for a special T visa, the different categories of a T visa include:

  • T-2 visas (spouses)
  • T-3 visas (children)
  • T-4 visas (parents)T-5 visas (unmarried siblings under the age of 18)

Under the same stipulations as a T-1 visa holder, the family members here on a T visa are also eligible for Federal and State benefits and services. Employment authorization may also be sought by the recipient.

What Are the Benefits of a T Visa?

As long as the victim is willing to help the authorities, the T-1 visa holder may be eligible for benefits and services to ensure their safety and well-being. Certified human trafficking victims may be provided with housing and food aid, income and employment assistance, health care and mental health services, English language classes, and even foster care if the victim is underage. Furthermore, certified human trafficking victims can apply to several relief programs, some of the most popular include:

  • Medicaid
  • Job Corps
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Contact an Illinois Immigrant Attorney

For any victim that is involved in human trafficking, it can seem like there is no escape. Due to citizenship issues an enslaved individual may not see a path to escape, fearing for their life or ability to remain in the United States. At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we work with our clients to ensure his or her best interests in mind by seeking justice. Our experienced Chicago immigration lawyers can help you meet the needs of your specific situation. For a free consultation, call us today at 630-932-9100.

 

Sources:

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/resource/fact-sheet-victim-assistance-english

https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-options-victims-crimes

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/other-visa-categories/visas-for-victims-of-human-trafficking.html

https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/victims-human-trafficking-other-crimes/victims-human-trafficking-t-nonimmigrant-status

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