Immigration Law

Advance Copy of USCIS Interim Rule: Classification for Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons; Eligibility for “T” Nonimmigrant Status

This document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on 12/19/2016 - "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations governing the requirements and procedures for victims of human trafficking seeking T nonimmigrant status. The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) may grant T nonimmigrant status (commonly known as a “T visa”) to aliens who are or were victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons, who are physically present in the United States on account of such trafficking, who have complied (unless under 18 years of age or unable to cooperate due to trauma) with any reasonable request by a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency (LEA) for assistance in an investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking in persons or the investigation of other crimes involving trafficking, and who would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States. In this interim rule, DHS is amending its regulations to conform with legislation enacted after the initial rule was published in 2002: the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003 (TVPRA 2003), the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005), the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA 2008), and Titles VIII and XII of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013). DHS is also streamlining procedures, responding to public comments on the 2002 interim final rule, and providing guidance for the statutory requirements for T nonimmigrants. The intent is to make sure the T nonimmigrant status regulations are up to date and reflect USCIS adjudicative experience, as well as the input provided by stakeholders."