The NY Anti-Trafficking Network is a coalition of diverse legal and social service providers in New York State and surrounding regions dedicated to ending human trafficking and coordinating resources to provide services to trafficked persons. The Network's Legal Subcommittee advocates on policy issues, advises on technical legal issues, and works toward educating the attorneys on the problem of human trafficking in its many manifestations. The Legal Subcommittee drafted this manual to provide guidance to lawyers on issues that arise in the context of representing trafficking survivors. The manual is designed for practitioners who are familiar with basic legal terms and concepts, to offer some insight into the process. It is not meant to be an exhaustive source of the law.
This manual is focused on the T visa, which was established by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and put into effect by immigration regulations published in January 2002. The T visa provides immigration relief to foreign nationals trafficked into the United States. If favorably adjudicated, it grants the survivor permission to remain within the U.S. and to obtain employment authorization for three years. At the end of the three years, or when the investigation is complete, the survivor is eligible to petition for permanent residency. This manual discusses the background of the T visa, suggests points to consider in evaluating a client's eligibility for the T visa, evaluates the statute and the regulations, and offers step-by-step instruction on preparing a T application for consideration by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service.