Visas for Victims of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers typically lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life. Victims of severe forms of human trafficking are provided relief under U.S. immigration law by the Victims of Trafficking in Persons (T) nonimmigrant visa. This status allows victims of human trafficking to remain in the United States to assist in investigations or prosecutions of human trafficking violators.
Foreign citizens seeking T-1 nonimmigrant status must be physically present in the United States already, due to human trafficking. Therefore, U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad (outside the United States) do not issue T-1 visas, but may issue qualifying family members T (derivative) visas. The purpose of this webpage is to explain the visa application process at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad for family members of trafficking victims.
Important Notice: Same-sex Marriage
Effective immediately, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that we adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses. Please reference the specific guidance on the visa category for which you are applying for more details on documentation required for derivative spouses. For further information, please see our FAQ’s.
T-1 Nonimmigrant Status
In order to receive T-1 nonimmigrant status, you must be eligible and you must comply with the application requirements set forth by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To be eligible, applicants must be in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a U.S. port-of-entry due to trafficking, or they must have been allowed entry into the United States for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or perpetrator of trafficking. You may apply for T-1 nonimmigrant status by filing a Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status, with USCIS. Applications for T-1 nonimmigrant status must be filed with the USCIS Vermont Service Center and will not be accepted at U.S. Embassies or Consulates overseas. For important detailed information on eligibility and how to apply for T-1 nonimmigrant status, visit the USCIS Victims of Human Trafficking webpage.
USCIS provides applicant approval via Form I -797, Notice of Action.
T Visas for Immediate Family Members - File an Application with USCIS
As a T-1 nonimmigrant status applicant, you may apply for certain family members in conjunction with your own application, or at a later date, with USCIS. Depending on your age, you are able to apply for the following family members:
If you are:
Then you may file for your:
under age 21,
- Spouse (T-2)
- Children (T-3)
- Parents (T-4)
- Unmarried siblings under age 18 (T-5)
age 21 or older,
- Spouse (T-2)
- Children (T-3)
Any age, if your family member faces a present danger of retaliation as a result of your escape from trafficking or your cooperation with law enforcement,
- Parents (T-4)
- Unmarried siblings under age 18 (T-5)
If you are a qualifying family member of a T-1 principal applicant or T-1 nonimmigrant status holder, he or she may file for derivative T nonimmigrant status for you. The T-1 principal applicant or T-1 nonimmigrant status holder must file Form I-914, Supplement A, Application for Immediate Family Member of T-1 Recipient, directly with the USCIS Vermont Service Center, regardless of where you are currently located. Before USCIS approves Form I-914, Supplement A, qualifying family members aged 14-79 will receive a Notice of Action instructing them to go to the nearest USCIS office for fingerprinting. If you are outside the United States, you must submit fingerprints at the nearest USCIS office. If there is no USCIS office in your country, you must go to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to have your fingerprints taken. Check the embassy or consulate website for instructions on requesting a fingerprinting appointment for a Form I-914, Supplement A, Application for Immediate Family Member of T-1 Recipient. Contact the Nonimmigrant Visa section if you have questions, and be sure to specify that you need fingerprints collected as part of a Form I-914, Supplement A. There is no fee for this fingerprinting service. Do not wait for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you.
USCIS will inform you in writing when your Form I-914, Supplement A, is approved or denied. If approved, you will receive a notice of approval on Form I-797, Notice of Action, from USCIS stating your Form I-914, Supplement A, has been approved.
There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you will apply.
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
- Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
Schedule an Interview
If your Form I-914, Supplement A, Application for Immediate Family Member of T-1 Recipient, is approved by USCIS and you are outside of the United States, you must apply for a T visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, generally in your country of permanent residence. You may schedule your visa appointment immediately upon receiving the Form I-797 from USCIS stating your Form I-914, Supplement A, has been approved. Do not wait for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you.
While interviews are generally not required for applicants of certain ages outlined above, consular officers have the discretion to require an interview of any applicant, regardless of age.
If you are age:
Then an interview is:
|13 and younger||Generally not required|
|14-79||Required (some exceptions for renewals)|
|80 and older||Generally not required|
You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview, generally, at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. embassy or consulate, but be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.
Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply:
Appointment Wait Time
Prepare for Your Interview
- Fees - Pay the non-refundable visa application fee, if you are required to pay it before your interview. When your visa is approved, you may also pay a visa issuance fee, if applicable to your nationality. Fee information is provided below:
- Review the instructions available on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply to learn more about fee payment.
Gather Required Documentation
Each applicant for a T-2, T-3, T-4, or T-5 nonimmigrant visa must gather and prepare the following required documents before the visa interview:
- Passport valid for travel to the United States - Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
- Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
- Form I-797, Notice of Action, from USCIS indicating approval of Form I-914, Supplement A.
Additional Documentation May Be Required
Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified.
Attend Your Visa Interview
During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.
After your visa interview, your application may require further administrative processing. You will be informed by the consular officer if further processing is necessary for your application.
When the visa is approved, you may pay a visa issuance fee if applicable to your nationality, and will be informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you. Review the visa processing time, to learn how soon your passport with visa will generally be ready for pick-up or delivery by the courier.
Entering the United States
A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.
Extending Your Stay
T nonimmigrants are required to have approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to stay beyond the date indicated on their admission stamp or paper Form I-94. See Extend Your Stay and USCIS Policy Memo PM-602-0032.1 on the USCIS website for more guidance.
You must depart the United States on or before the date indicated on your admission stamp or Form I-94, unless your request to extend your stay is approved by USCIS.
Failure to depart the United States on time will result in you being out of status. Under U.S. law, visas of travelers who are out of status are automatically voided (section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act). If you had a multiple-entry visa and it was voided due to you being out of status, it will not be valid for future entries into the United States.
- We cannot guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
- Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.
- Information for T-2, T-3, T-4, and T-5 visa holders about permission to work in the United States is available on the USCIS website under Work Authorization. T-2, T-3, T-4, and T-5 visa holders are permitted to study in the United States.
Visa Interviews for T-3 Child Applicants
T-1 parents do not have to be present at visa interviews for T-3 children or other qualifying family members. If only one parent is present at the visa interview, a letter from the other parent expressing consent to visa issuance may be necessary.
Visa Denial and Ineligibility
Review Visa Denials for detailed information about visa ineligibilities, denials, and waivers.
If you are ineligible for a T visa, you must file Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant, directly with the USCIS Vermont Service Center. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate cannot issue a visa until USCIS has made a determination on the Form I-192. If approved, USCIS will notify you and the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you applied. If you receive notification that your waiver has been approved, follow the “221(g)” instructions on the embassy’s or consulate’s website for how to proceed with your application. Do not wait for the embassy or consulate to contact you.
Whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your visa, you will use the same application process (please review How to Apply, above). Some applicants seeking to renew their visas in certain visa classes may be eligible for the Interview Waiver Program (IWP) which allows qualified individuals to apply for visa renewals without being interviewed in person by a U.S. consular officer. Review the instructions on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply to determine if the IWP is available and if you qualify.
Misrepresentation or Fraud
Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States.
Citizens of Canada and Bermuda
Citizens of Canada and Bermuda traveling to the United States do not require nonimmigrant visas, except for certain travel purposes. For more information, see Citizens of Canada and Bermuda.
Additional resources for Canadians traveling to the United States can be found on the U.S. Embassy Ottawa website in Canada.
Additional resources for Bermudians traveling to the United States can be found on the U.S. Consulate General Hamilton website.
Adjustment of Status
Information about adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident is available on the USCIS website under Green Card for a Victim of Trafficking (T Nonimmigrant). T nonimmigrants eligible to adjust status must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, directly with the USCIS Vermont Service Center. See the special Supplement E Instructions to Form I-485 for further details.
Revocation of T Status
If the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revokes a principal applicant’s T-1 nonimmigrant status, all family members deriving T nonimmigrant status from the revoked T-1 principal applicant will have their status revoked, as well. Also, family members residing abroad awaiting decisions on T-2, T-3, T-4, or T-5 applications will be denied.
In October 2000, the United States Congress created the T nonimmigrant status for victims of human trafficking by passing the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA). This visa category is limited to 5,000 principals with T-1 status per year.
For questions about: please refer to: through this website: Filing Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status, including Supplements A and B USCIS USCIS – Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status Filing Form I-914, Supplement A for family members T visa applications for family members at U.S. embassies or consulates overseas the U.S. embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over your family member's place of residence Websites of U.S. embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions The United States' global efforts against human trafficking Department of State Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP)
- A-Z Index
- Lost/Stolen Travel Documents
- Human Trafficking Victims-USCIS
- Fraud Warning
- Border Security/Safety
- Visa Expiration Date
- Automatic Revalidation
- Nonimmigrants in the United States–Applying for Visas in Canada or Mexico
- Visa Applicants - State Sponsors of Terrorism
- Find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate