Living in the United States legally is the dream of many people who have the idea of immigrating to the country because of their quality of life in their country of origin or wherever they are.
Unfortunately, many individuals are brought into the country with false promises, and once they arrive in the United States, they face problems such as slavery and human trafficking. For these individuals, there is a way to fix their documents with the humanitarian program called the T Visa.
The T Visa was created by the U.S. Congress in October 2000, as part of the Victims of Violence and Human Trafficking Protection Act, to curb human trafficking in the United States.
The T Visa is a temporary immigration benefit that allows certain individuals who have been victims of a severe form of human trafficking to remain and live legally and with protections within the United States.
According to the International Labor Organization, there are more than 40.3 million people worldwide who are currently victims of human trafficking, 60 percent of whom are forced, laborers.
Approximately more than 800,000 people pass through international borders each year, falling victim to human trafficking.
When Does One Qualify For Human Trafficking In The U.S.?
Immigrants in the United States tend to be exposed to situations that leave them very vulnerable, exploited in the workplace, mistreated, and discriminated against, this undoubtedly happens to many migrants in the country.
Human trafficking includes the abuses of labor exploitation, but if someone has not been paid, if they are treated badly, it’s always better to talk to a lawyer because there’s always some kind of relief.
Trafficking in persons is specifically defined by law as the use of force, fraud, or coercion in exchange for labor, services, or sexual or commercial acts.
Is a modern form of slavery, where someone’s freedom is stolen and completely taken away and they are forced to work.
Human trafficking or human smuggling refers to sex trafficking. Many people think of that right away, but beyond that, it also refers to forced labor.
This can be domestic work such as nannies, and housekeepers, it can be in restaurants, agriculture, beauty services, or construction. It may be some type of non-sexual but forced labor.
How Do You Know If You Qualify For The T Visa?
Primarily, you must recognize the abuse that is part of the work situation you are going through, you can identify fear of a boss although clearly, the T Visa is a little more than that.
It is about finding some indicator, for example, if a person has experienced verbal or physical abuse particularly from a boss or supervisor, if they are prevented from taking adequate breaks if they accept a specific job but feels forced to do a different job.
Another example is if you are living right where you are working, if you receive paychecks with negative balances, if the boss accompanies you to the bank to check what you are using that money for, how you are using it, if he threatens you with deportation, arrest or jail.
We have also seen situations where the person is restricted from contacting family or friends to help them if they limit their use of social networks.
If the person feels like they can’t get out of that situation because they are afraid of something, fear of physical abuse or fear of legal use such as deportation, If you are afraid that you can’t get out of this situation and you have to keep working, those are very strong indicators that someone has been trafficked.
Who Can Qualify For The T Visa?
For the T Visa, anyone can qualify because anyone can be a victim of this type of situation.
To qualify for this humanitarian program no matter age, race, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, or socioeconomic class, means that even citizens can be victims of human trafficking.
This program does not discriminate, because any type of person, regardless of age or race, as long as he or she has been forced to work, is a victim of human trafficking.
Is It Safe To Begin The T Visa Process?
It is important to remember that this Visa was created by Congress specifically so that people would not be afraid to talk to the police despite their immigration status.
This Visa is very similar to the U Visa. The reason is that there has to be a report to the police, and if the aggressor finds out, for example, it depends very much on the situation, because the person does have to talk to the police since it is part of the T Visa requirement.
In talking with the police, which is a security body of the country, they will take the necessary precautions to be able to investigate any crime.
They are going to make sure that nothing else is going to happen to the victim, and likewise, this program is different from the U Visa in that the police do not have to do anything as such with that report.
In any case, if you do nothing, if you do not sign a certificate with the police, it is not an obligation in the case of this T Visa, but it is an obligation in the case of this T Visa. It is very important to cooperate and talk to the police, because that is the purpose of this Visa, to encourage people who have been abused to cooperate with the police because they have been victims of human trafficking.
What Evidence Must Be Presented As A Victim Of Forced Labor?
Normally, the evidence in these types of cases where the victim is being forced to work by another person, is the victim’s statement, witness statements, and maybe other victims as well, the report to the police also serves as evidence, if there is physical abuse, this serves as evidence through photos.
It always depends on each situation, but the voice of the person who has been victimized is the strongest evidence, their statement telling the police, having witnesses from other victims, is the best evidence one can have.
People should not be afraid of not having photos or videos, because it is not common for this type of evidence to even exist. After all, we are not in a television program where absolutely everything is being recorded.
Both Congress and immigration understand that there are no cameras out there recording everything, but your statement is the most important thing, telling in detail and describing what happened to you, is the best evidence.
How Long Does T Visa Processing Take?
Each year there is a cap on T Visas just like the U Visa, and there are only five thousand T Visas each year.
In 2018 there were two thousand applications, and of those two thousand, 1500 were approved.
Currently, this T Visa process is taking a little less than 2 years to process application.
Past Relationships & VAWA
Immigration law states for the VAWA program, a person must apply within two years of the divorce.
In the case of couples who are no longer together, separation is completely different from divorce, so separation does not prejudice the case.
Even though the person who was abusive in their past relationship is uploading photos to their social networks with their new partner as a threatening strategy, this simply benefits your case more, because it would be proving that this person is abusing in another way.
At Lincoln-Goldfinch Law we have seen many people tell us that their partners are threatening to tell the immigration agency that they only got married to get their Visa, and they don’t know what to do.
What those people don’t consider is that this is more evidence on the part of the abuser, so don’t worry, because those threats or anything else is not going to hurt your application at all, you don’t have to worry at all.
How Does The T Visa Differ From The U Visa, Asylum & VAWA?
The T Visa program is for people who have been trafficked or smuggled, are physically in the United States, are in compliance with the investigative cooperation being conducted, and can demonstrate that they would suffer hardship if they had to leave the US.
The difference between the T Visa, U Visa, Asylum, and VAWA, is that although all of these programs are humanitarian relief, the difference is based on the benefits, but the benefits are not the same. The truth is that there is not much difference because, with each type of humanitarian Visa, people can obtain permanent residency and then citizenship.
The T Visa is very similar to the U Visa, because both people will have that Visa for four years, in the third year the person gets the opportunity to apply for residency, and that residency is based on being a T Visa beneficiary.
Actually, the difference between all of these humanitarian immigration programs T Visa, U Visa, Asylum, and VAWA, is based on how to qualify for each of them, but the benefits and protections that these Visas offer are very similar because they lead to residency and then, citizenship.
What Is The T Visa Time Limit?
There is no time limit in immigration law, but the more time that passes, the less strong a case is in the eyes of immigration.
This is because part of the T Visa program is that the person is physically in the United States because of trafficking, so there should be a connection between physical presence in the country and trafficking. there should be a connection between physical presence in the country and trafficking.
If 10 or 15 years have passed, immigrants can assert that the person has been a victim, but they know that the person is most likely not in the United States because of that abuse. They stayed because they had a job or family.
It should be noted that it is not impossible to obtain the T Visa, but that connection is a requirement for the T Visa.
The only way that connection is broken is if the victim leaves the United States after being victimized, then, by law, there are no limits, there are more obstacles as time goes by, but it is not impossible.
Can I Include My Partner Or Family In My T Visa Case?
With the T Visa program, the individual can apply including their partner. It can also be applied to their children, and if the victim is a minor (under 21 years of age) they can apply to their parents and siblings.
It does not matter if your family or partner is here in the United States or not, the only person who must have a physical presence in the country is the person who has been victimized and is applying for the T Visa.
Also, the victim must demonstrate that connection between human trafficking, but that requirement is not necessary for the family.
They can also be part of the application and would only have to go through the process at the Consulate, but they can include the family in this application.
Can I Obtain U.S. Citizenship Through the T Visa?
The good thing about this T Visa program is that after having this Visa follows the residency or better known as Green Card, and after the Green Card the applicant can apply for citizenship.
The T Visa as such does expire, so each applicant to this type of program should be careful with the expiration date of the same, it has a duration of 4 years.
After the third year, you can apply for residency.
If your T Visa expires, there are situations where it can normally be extended, but when a person has a T Visa, they should take advantage of it and get their residency as soon as they can.
If you have further questions about the T Visa, your job, or your specific case, you can contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a brief 10-minute evaluation of your case over the phone, we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you don’t miss our weekly broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.