Immigrants First - Visas for Victims of Trafficking or Crime

Legal Services


Visas for Victims of Trafficking or Crime

T and U visas are special nonimmigrant visas authorized by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

As the former director of legal services for two nonprofits serving underprivileged immigrants, Lisa Johnson-Firth, the principal of the Firm has specialized experience in helping clients receive T or U visa status.

Ms. Johnson-Firth has participated in advocacy groups that have reformed this area of the law and written legal materials for a national network of professionals working to alleviate trafficking.

T visas
are 4-year visas that can lead to adjustment of status (a green card) for persons who:

  • Have been subjected to a severe form of trafficking (through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for sex and/or involuntary servitude);
  • Are physically present in the U.S.;
  • Cooperated in the investigation or prosecution of the traffickers (unless under 18); and,
  • Would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm
    upon removal.

U visas
are 4-year visas that can lead to adjustment of status for persons who:

  • Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of “qualifying criminal activity;”
  • Possess credible and reliable information establishing that he or she has knowledge of the details concerning the qualifying criminal activity upon which his or her petition is based; and
  • Has been helpful, is being helpful, or likely to be helpful to a certifying agency in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity.

Also note that the qualifying criminal activity must have occurred in the United States or territories or violated a U.S. federal law that provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction.

You may qualify for a U visa if you have been the victim of one or more of the following (or similar) crimes: Abduction; blackmail; domestic violence; extortion; false imprisonment; felonious assault; female genital mutilation; being a hostage; incest; involuntary servitude; kidnapping; manslaughter; murder; obstruction of justice; peonage; perjury; prostitution; rape; sexual assault; abusive sexual contact; sexual exploitation; slave trade; torture; trafficking; unlawful criminal restraint; witness tampering; or attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any of these crimes.