Remedies for Human Trafficking Victims and Survivors

AJEL.  Pixabay

AJEL. Pixabay

Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers lure individuals with false promises of employment and a better life. Traffickers often take advantage of poor, unemployed individuals who lack access to social services.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) defines a victim of severe trafficking as a person induced to perform labor or a commercial sex act through force, fraud, or coercion. Victims and survivors include U.S. citizens and foreign nationals and work under in at least 25 industries in the United States.
Remedies for human trafficking victims
By law, human trafficking victims are eligible for social services, immigration relief, and civil and criminal remedies. Call the National Trafficking Helpline, 1-888-373-7888 or email to learn about federal remedies. Click here for an interactive map from the Office of Victims Services to learn about state-specific remedies.
Immigration relief for foreign nationals
The T nonimmigrant visa allows victims to remain in the United States to assist in the investigation or prosecution of human traffickers. Once a T nonimmigrant visa is granted, a victim can apply for permanent residence after three years and the visa holder is authorized to work in the U.S. Immediate family members are also eligible for derivative nonimmigrant status.
Who is eligible for T nonimmigrant status?
To qualify for T nonimmigrant status, you must:

  • Be or have been a victim of severe trafficking in persons.
  • Be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry on account of trafficking.
  • Comply with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking. There is an exemption for underage victims under 18 years old and for victims unable to cooperate due to with a law enforcement request due to physical or psychological trauma.
  • Demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving severe and unusual harm if you were removed from the United States.

I am a victim and need help
If you or someone you know is in a trafficking situation, call the National Trafficking Helpline: 1-888-373-7888 or email: to get help. To connect with local services, text HELP to 233733 (BEFREE).
To learn more about human trafficking, read our related blog posts, What is Human Trafficking?and Green Card for Trafficking VictimsContact us for more information.  Follow us on InstagramTwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Tumblr, for up-to-date immigration news.

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