DOS Cable: T and U Visa Changes

DOS Cable: T and U Visa Changes

"1. Summary: In March 2013 Congress enacted several changes to the William Wilberforce Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) & Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008(TVPRA) that affect T and U visa eligibility. T visas are designed for victims of trafficking in persons, which includes sex trafficking or labor trafficking. U visas are for victims of certain qualifying crimes, such as domestic violence and sexual assault, and the victim must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the crime. To qualify for the U visa, the victim of a qualifying crime generally must provide assistance to law enforcement. To qualify for the T visa, a victim is required to cooperate with reasonable requests from law enforcement related to their victimization, with limited exceptions. In addition, the trafficking or crime must have violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States including its territories and possessions. For T visas, the victim must be physically present in the United States on account of the trafficking.

2. For the T Visa, the recent change to the law expanded eligibility to include certain extended family members of the principal applicant who face a present danger of retaliation. Other changes allowed age-out protections for U visa derivatives and eliminated the public charge ineligibility for U visa applicants among other things." - DOS, June 13, 2013.