This week we continue our series on getting permanent residency or a green card in Trump’s America with Option 5: Green card as a human trafficking and crime victim.
U.S. immigration laws allow for certain victims of human trafficking and crime to apply for green cards.
The T nonimmigrant status, or T visa, provides immigration protection to victims of severe forms of human trafficking and also allows them to remain in the United States and assist federal authorities in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases. Those who have been granted T nonimmigrant status may also file for a green card (permanent residence) after meeting certain requirements.
These requirements include being physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least three years from the first date of admission as a T nonimmigrant and a continuous period during the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking.
Applicants must also show that they would suffer extreme hardship, involving unusual and severe harm, if they are removed from the United States. They must also prove that they are persons of good moral character and complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking since being granted the T visa and until a decision is made on their adjustment of status application, Form I-485, to green card holder.
To apply for a T visa, you must submit to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the following:
Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status
Three passport size photographs
A personal statement explaining how you were a victim of trafficking (on the Form I-914)
Evidence to show you the meet eligibility requirements.
U nonimmigrant status, or U visas, are set aside for victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of the crime and who are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. Those who have been granted U nonimmigrant status may file for a green card (permanent residence) using Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, after meeting certain requirements similar to the T visa.
These requirements include being physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least three years since the first date of admission as a U nonimmigrant. You must also not have unreasonably refused to provide assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of a crime and establish that your presence in the United States is justified on humanitarian grounds, is necessary to ensure family unity or is in the public interest of the country.
To obtain a green card, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and also must concurrently file a Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, Form I-693.
Look out for Option 6 next week, in the Eight Ways to Get a Green Card in Trump’s America series!
The writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc., which owns the brands NewsAmericasNow, CaribPRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.