T visas, for victims of human trafficking, and U visas, for victims of crime, are special nonimmigrant visas authorized by law under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. When this Act was passed, Immigrants First founder Lisa Shea was one of the first lawyers to write policy guidance and legal protocol for their use for the Freedom Network, one of the national organizations training service providers on human trafficking.
T visas are 4-year visas that can lead to adjustment of status (a green card) for persons who:
- have been subjected to a severe form of trafficking (through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for sex and/or involuntary servitude);
- are physically present in the U.S.;
- cooperated in the investigation or prosecution of the traffickers (unless under 18); and
- would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal.
U visas are 4-year visas that can lead to adjustment of status for persons who:
- have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of “qualifying criminal activity”;
- possess credible and reliable information establishing that they have knowledge of the details concerning the qualifying criminal activity upon which the petition is based; and
- have been helpful, are being helpful, or are likely to be helpful to a certifying agency in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity.
The qualifying criminal activity must have occurred in the United States or territories or violated a U.S. federal law that provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Please contact Immigrants First for assistance with T or U visa applications.
U Visa Qualifying Crimes
- Abusive Sexual Contact
- Domestic Violence
- False Imprisonment
- Felonious Assault
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
- Involuntary Servitude
- Obstruction of Justice
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Exploitation
- Slave Trade