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​​5 Things You Didn't Know About the T Visa

As an immigration attorney, I often encounter clients who are unaware of the T visa and its significance for victims of human trafficking. The T visa is a critical tool that provides temporary immigration benefits to individuals who have been victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons and are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking cases. Here are five things you may not know about the T visa:

1. Non-Immigrant Status: The T visa provides non-immigrant status to victims of trafficking, allowing them to remain in the United States for up to four years. During this time, they are eligible to work and may also apply for certain benefits and services.

2. Family Members: T visa holders can include certain family members in their application, including spouses, children, parents, and unmarried siblings under 18 years of age. These family members are also eligible for derivative T visas.

3. Path to Permanent Residency: After three years of continuous presence in the United States as a T visa holder, individuals may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residency (a green card). This provides a pathway to permanent residency for victims of human trafficking.

4. Confidentiality and Privacy: The T visa program provides protections for victims, including confidentiality and privacy. Information provided by victims in support of their T visa application is confidential and can only be disclosed with their consent.

5. Continued Presence: Victims of trafficking who are potential witnesses in a trafficking investigation or prosecution may be eligible for "continued presence," which allows them to remain in the United States for the duration of the investigation or prosecution.

It's important for victims of human trafficking to be aware of their rights and options under the law. If you or someone you know has been a victim of trafficking, I encourage you to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney who can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of applying for a T visa.

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