Nonimmigrant Visa Attorney For Trafficking & Crime Victims

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Vulnerable groups, such as victims of human trafficking and other crimes, need protection to stay in the United States. With the help of a nonimmigrant Visa attorney, they can get a T or U Visa. Possession of these Visas also allows them to apply for a permanent resident card.

Here, you can delve into Green Cards tailored for T and U Visa holders, discuss their benefits, and how law enforcement plays a pivotal role in supporting these survivors. The journey might seem layered and complex, but with the proper knowledge, it becomes more accessible and understandable.

Immigration Lawyer Explains The T Visa And U Visa Process

Understanding T & U Visas

Before diving deep into Green Cards, one must first comprehend the nature of T and U Visas. These are two distinct nonimmigrant Visas catering to specific sets of individuals. 

T Visas: For Human Trafficking Victims

Human trafficking is a grave offense, with its tentacles reaching worldwide. The United States designed the T Visa to support victims forced, tricked, or coerced into trafficking. It aims not only to offer protection but also to bolster the efforts against modern-day slavery.

For a person to qualify, they must be a trafficking victim in the country. They may have been compelled or coerced to provide labor or services. Worse, they may have had traffickers force them to perform commercial sex acts. These victims must collaborate with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking unless under specific exemptions. 

The benefits of a T Visa are vast: it provides a four-year stay, work authorization, and a potential path to becoming a permanent resident.

U Visas: For Victims Of Certain Crimes

The United States Government conceived the U Visa to protect victims of certain crimes who have undergone substantial mental or physical harm. It covers a broad spectrum of offenses—from domestic violence and sexual assault to more uncommon crimes like hostage situations or involuntary servitude.

To be eligible, victims should be physically present in the United States and help law enforcement investigate or prosecute the crime. This collaboration can be through providing information, assisting in the capture of perpetrators, or even testifying in court. U Visa holders gain U.S. legal status for four years and can apply for a Green Card in three years.

Green Card Eligibility For T & U Visa Holders

Being a holder of a T or U Visa is a significant step, but transitioning to a Green Card is often the ultimate goal for many. The following is a breakdown of the eligibility criteria for these Visa holders to get a permanent resident card.

For T Visa Holders

Eligibility for individuals with T nonimmigrant status requires a minimum of three years’ physical presence in the United States since Visa issuance. After investigation, USCIS deems trafficking victims as eligible after investigation or prosecution. They must also demonstrate good moral character and comply with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking.

It is also crucial to prove that their departure from the U.S. would result in extreme hardship. This considers their circumstances, the potential danger in their home country, and other factors that might affect their well-being.

For U Visa Holders

For U Visa recipients, the eligibility hinges on a few factors. They must have held their U Visa status for at least three years before applying for a Green Card. Additionally, during that period, they should have maintained a continuous physical presence in the U.S. 

Cooperation with law enforcement is also essential. U Visa holders must provide certification from a relevant authority indicating their help in detecting, investigating, or prosecuting the criminal activity that made them eligible for the Visa.

The shift from T and U nonimmigrant status to being a permanent resident isn’t just about ticking boxes. It is also about proving a continued commitment to safety, cooperation, and building a new life in the United States.

The Benefits Of Receiving A Green Card

Individuals with a permanent resident card have plenty of benefits to reap. Considering that they can stay in the United States indefinitely, they can enjoy certain rights and benefits.

Permanent Residency

Green Card holders have the legal right to live and work in the United States indefinitely, providing long-term stability and security. With a permanent residency, they can rebuild their lives for the better.

Employment Flexibility

They can work for any employer in the United States and are not restricted to specific job types or locations. This offers greater career opportunities and helps them build a more stable life.

Freedom To Travel

Green Card holders can travel in and out of the United States without additional visas. International travel can be more convenient and unconstrained for them.

Access To Social Services

They can access certain social services and benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, and state-sponsored healthcare and education programs. All these social services serve to better themselves while in the country.

Path To U.S. Citizenship

After meeting residency requirements, typically five years, Green Card holders can apply for U.S. citizenship. Becoming a naturalized American gives the right to vote and access to additional privileges and protections.Receiving A Green Card Through A U Visa

These benefits give permanent resident card recipients a strong foundation for building their lives and futures in the United States. After suffering setbacks, they will finally have their lives back on track.

Importance Of Continuous Support

The journey toward healing and stability in a new country is not a solitary endeavor. While T and U Visas provide legal avenues to remain in the United States, continuous support from various individuals, organizations, and community resources is important. These make the process more humane and achievable.

T and U Visa holders often carry the weight of traumatic experiences. The initial legal statuses are monumental steps, but it’s the everyday support that bolsters their resilience. Community centers, NGOs, and dedicated counseling services play a pivotal role here. These organizations provide emotional and psychological aid to help survivors process their traumas and offer essential life skills training. This support equips individuals to rebuild their lives brick by brick.

Also, integration into a new society can be overwhelming. Every aspect can pose a challenge, from understanding societal norms and values to simply figuring out daily tasks like shopping or using public transport. Local community groups and integration programs offer mentorship, language classes, and cultural orientation. These initiatives help survivors become active members of their new communities.

The journey from a T or U Visa to a Green Card involves more than legal processes. It’s about creating a stable environment where survivors can thrive. Stable housing, access to education and employment opportunities, and medical care are essential. Many non-profits and state-funded programs focus on these aspects, ensuring Visa holders have the resources to settle and flourish.

Why Hiring A Nonimmigrant Visa Attorney Is Crucial

For those unfamiliar with the intricacies of immigration law, tackling the T and U Visa process may seem daunting. This is where a visa attorney’s services shine.

When trafficking or crime victims seek a path to stay in the United States, they navigate a complex legal landscape. Small oversights can lead to delays or denials. An experienced attorney anticipates and avoids these pitfalls, streamlining the application process.

Each T and U Visa case is unique. Attorneys collect evidence, liaise with law enforcement, and work with clients according to their circumstances.

In cases of human trafficking, trauma is profound. A seasoned attorney offers guidance, making the process less taxing for victims. They connect victims with support networks and resources.

U Visas, granted to qualifying crime victims, require law enforcement certification. The crucial role of an attorney becomes evident when navigating this intricate process.

Immigration Lawyers At Lozano Law Firm

Navigating the complexities of Green Cards for T and U Visa holders becomes significantly smoother with legal guidance. Lozano Law Firm provides dedicated support to trafficking and crime victims seeking safety and stability in the United States.

Their team of experienced nonimmigrant Visa lawyers understands the nuances of these processes, ensuring that they take every step with precision and care. They are committed to helping victims overcome legal challenges, secure their rights, and build a better future in the United States.


Within the intricate landscape of Visas and Green Cards, the pathways designed for victims of human trafficking and specific crimes hold vital importance. The U.S. Government’s recognition of their struggles has paved the way for people with T and U nonimmigrant status, enabling these survivors to find refuge and rebuild their lives.

Understanding the significance of these Visas, their eligibility criteria, and the invaluable role of legal professionals in navigating their complexities is crucial. From T Visas, designed to protect trafficking victims, to U Visas for victims of certain crimes, these avenues offer more than legal status; they provide stability, healing, and the chance to contribute to society.

While the journey may appear challenging, the proper knowledge and legal support can make it accessible and understandable. With the assistance of experienced nonimmigrant Visa lawyers, victims can navigate the complexities of Green Cards for T and U Visa holders, upholding their rights and ensuring a brighter future in the United States.

About Alfredo Lozano

alfredo lozano of lozano law firm inAlfredo Lozano is the founder and principal attorney at Lozano Law Firm, an immigration law firm serving the communities of San Antonio, Eagle Pass, Laredo and San Angelo in business and family-based immigration law. Mr. Lozano is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the San Antonio Bar Association, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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