The U Visa and T Visa offer extraordinary humanitarian relief for undocumented immigrants who are victims of violent crimes and human trafficking
The existence of these visas serves two main purposes: to provide nonimmigrant visas and a pathway to permanent residence and citizenship to victims of violent crimes in the United States, and to encourage those victims to report these crimes so that criminals are apprehended and prosecuted.
U Visa: a foreign national is eligible for a U visa under the following conditions:
- The individual must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of a qualifying crime;
- The individual must have information concerning that criminal activity;
- The individual must have been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime; and
- The criminal actively violated U.S. laws.
As with anyone who is the victim of a violent crime, the first step for the undocumented individual is to contact the police.
T Visa: a foreign national is eligible for a T visa if they are victim of human trafficking in the United States, certain territories, or are at a port of entry due to trafficking. Similar to a U visa, eligibility for a T visa requires cooperation with law enforcement to aid in the prosecution of the crime. An individual also must demonstrate that they would suffer extreme hardship if removed from the United States.