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What Is The T Visa?
The T Visa is the program to regularize the immigration status for victims of human trafficking, or people who have suffered a situation in a job, such as forced prostitution, but it can also be normal work such as someone who was a nanny or worked in a restaurant, and that person was forced to work under fraud or deception.
The ways to know how someone has suffered that is if, for example, they did not feel free to leave that job, or they did not receive their normal pay, they had to work to pay a debt or to be able to get their documents such as their passport.
The T Visa is a program that exists in the immigration laws, and it is like the U Visa which is a Visa for victims of crimes in the United States who have assisted the police in their investigation and can be crimes such as assault, rape, kidnapping, etc.
Normally, these are violent crimes, but still, the T Visa is for victims of human trafficking crime who have made a report with an agency, which may be the police, about what happened in their situation, and that program may allow them to apply for permanent status in the United States, and it is possible to include sometimes the whole family.
It is a way to be able to have something good for the future of the family after having gone through a very difficult situation.
Who Can Apply For T Visa?
All human beings can apply for this type of Visa, they can be individuals who have been victims of human trafficking, and we can note the suffering that vulnerable communities are going through, to be more specific, people who have gone through this type of trauma and are undocumented here in the United States.
We have had clients who are single men with no family, they may be children with parents or siblings who may be included in this program, they may be women, so with this clarified, it should be noted that any person can suffer from human trafficking and therefore can apply to have the T Visa, it is not required to be of a specific age or even less a specific gender.
Can Contracted Individuals Apply For The T Visa?
A situation of this type needs to be reviewed a little more because there have been cases of employees who were not paid after performing a job when it was agreed to have their remuneration in return.
What we look for in these situations is evidence that the boss in this situation has done the same thing with other people who are also undocumented, this serves as evidence or proof that that boss is committing a type of fraud, because that person is basically taking advantage of the immigrant community, inviting them to work knowing that they have no legal way to complain.
Depending on the circumstances of a case like this, we will want to know more about the detailed and absolute situation.
It is normal for us to have a group of employees come to our offices to make a confidential inquiry because something happened to all of them, and that gives us a bigger picture because it allows us to collect more evidence of that specific boss’s mistreatment of undocumented employees in the United States.
Is There A Time Limit For The T Visa?
There is no specific deadline for this type of case, but the sooner you can get started to obtain your Visa, the better, because this type of immigration case is more delicate, since we have to prove that the T Visa applicant, for example, continues to stay in the United States, so in his stay, he suffered from a delicate situation.
If it is something that happened 15 years ago, we can still make a report, we can send a case with immigration, although it is very likely that they will make a decision to deny the case because it has been a long time since that situation happened to you and now you have a good job, you have children or you have a different life, and that is something that we can connect with evidence, your presence in the United States with the trafficking that you suffered, and put together a case where it does not matter how long it has been since that event.
It is better to have less time between the traffic and the application to obtain the Visa, but there is no specific deadline in the rules or laws.
Another thing that is important to mention is that this rule that says that the applicant has to be in the U.S. because of the trafficking they suffered, may affect many people who actually suffered trafficking here in the U.S., and for some reason left and then returned to the country.
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There is the case of a person who went through the situation of human trafficking in a very extreme way, and qualified to obtain his T Visa since it was a very strong case, but unfortunately, that person had been caught and accepted a voluntary departure from the country, then entered again or not, and that case is now very difficult to work with, because that person has to be in the United States after having suffered the trafficking, and it is a very important point for people who are about to apply to this type of program.
VAWA & The T Visa
The VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) program is for family members and permanent resident citizens who cannot ask or request help from their petitioner or their family member because they are abusers, but the U Visa and T Visa programs exist to help victims and the police in their investigations, and that is the reason why the applicant can get the benefit, it is different, and that means that it does not matter for a T Visa, a U Visa, the legal status of the abuser or the perpetrator.
There is no relevance to the immigration status of the person doing the trafficking abuse or the crime for which you are applying for the U Visa or T Visa.
Something that is unfortunately very common, and to investigate whether a person who is being threatened at work would qualify for the T Visa, we will first want to know more information about the history of the person who invited the employee to his or her home, for example.
We want to know if this is something that this person does regularly, and if he also has another history of this type, that would serve as proof, to know that this person regularly uses fraud by inviting immigrants and forcing them to work under false pretenses.
Sometimes in that type of situation, there is a possibility of applying for a T Visa, depending on the circumstances in general, but other than that it is important that all contractors who have gone through that without a theft, without a threat, without an arrest, have the necessary evidence, but if they contracted with someone and they did their work and they didn’t pay you, and you feel that there is nothing you can do because you are undocumented and you have no rights, you have no way to make a complaint, you should approach non-profit organizations that help that community, which could be the Labor Advocacy Project, or the Center For Justice And Equality.
At Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, we offer in our office immigration and bankruptcy services to the immigrant community, but other than that we are available to answer your questions and concerns, and if for example, you want a referral to one of the above-mentioned organizations, call us, because we are available and happy to help connect you with people who can provide that help in case we are unable to help you.
Barter As Part Payment For The T Visa
When an employee in the United States is offered employment opportunities with unconventional payments in exchange, in this case, for example, part of a piece of land in exchange for performing the labor to leave it in optimal conditions, this could possibly be a situation where the individual could apply for the T Visa, but this type of situation should be consulted since one aspect of the T Visa is that between this program and the U Visa there are similarities but they are a little different.
It is necessary to do for this Visa, first of all, ask for a report from the police, and then ask for a certification that confirms that the applicant was a victim of a crime and thanks to that they were able to help the police with their investigation, so you get that form from the police, and it is the I-918b form, it has the signature of a police officer and it has an expiration date that is valid for 6 months from the issuance of the same.
In this case, you have to apply during those 6 months, it is a requirement to be able to go ahead with the U Visa, but with the T Visa we do have to make a report with the officials or with the police and we do have to ask for a certification, but if they do not give you this certification, they do not answer you for any reason, you can go ahead with the T Visa at immigration without any problem
This is a very big difference between these two Visa programs, but we still have to investigate further in a private consultation the situation exposed, because we will want to know if they had a contract with this boss, if there was any written agreement or evidence such as recorded voicemails and what is the immigration history of that applicant, and know that they should be at risk of being seized in case they are denied.
If a person for example has deportations or criminal record arrests, the applicant’s history is at risk.
That is one of the other reasons why you should feel the need to have confidence in an attorney experienced with immigration matters, and at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law when we start an individual’s case, from the consultation, we are thinking about the strategy we are going to take if that case is rejected or denied for any reason, how that immigration decision is going to affect the applicant, are important aspects to reflect and take into account before starting this immigration process, but based on the employment situation exposed above, that person could qualify for a T Visa.
Employment Contracts & Important T Visa Documents
It is not a requirement to have a contract in the case of T Visa applicants, since it is very common that the person does not have any contract or any written agreement with the employer, which is certainly helpful, but it is not necessary.
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It is something similar to when we have the case of a couple, we are trying to prove that they are a bona fide married couple, and it is good when they have a child in common, they have the birth certificate, they have the name of the father or the mother, they are proofs or evidence that is has a lot of weight and power at the time of continuing with a process, but it is not a requirement in a T Visa case.
In this situation, as we are going to want to talk about the abuse, specifically how many times, how long the job lasted if that happened to other employees if you have witnesses who could write letters of support in the case, but before that, the most important evidence in all humanitarian cases, is the written history of the applicant which is the affidavit, it is the moment in your case where you are going to tell the story of your case in detail.
This is something that we focus a lot on in our cases, we help our clients to finalize their stories so that they can tell the real situation of this case clearly with dates, with details, with the necessary information to be able to win the case, and the rest of the evidence depends on the circumstances that they have lived through.
We try to secure anything that we can find that will serve as evidence in all our cases, although sometimes it is not easy, sometimes our clients often say that they have nothing that can help their cases, but we have ideas and legal strategies to serve them.
Benefits Of The T Visa
There are many benefits to the T Visa program, but at the end of the day, it is a way to stay permanently in the United States, certainly without having the fear of deportation for the applicant and his immediate relatives, if it is a father he could include his wife, his children who are minors.
The applicant can include his siblings, his mother, his father, then a whole family can obtain permanent status in the United States starting with a work permit, then the Green Card, and finally U.S. citizenship.
In case you have additional questions about the T Visa, the necessary documentation, or about your specific case, you can contact us at (855) 502-0555. After a short 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 as not to miss our weekly transmissions via Facebook, YouTube & Twitch.
Frequently Asked Questions