Department of Homeland Security Amends Regulations Governing T NonImmigrant Status for Victims of Human Trafficking

 
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
 
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations governing the requirements and procedures for victims of human trafficking who seek T nonimmigrant status. DHS is also streamlining procedures, responding to public comments, and providing guidance on the statutory requirements for T nonimmigrants in order to ensure that the T nonimmigrant status (T visa) regulations are up to date and reflect USCIS’ adjudicative experience.

DHS first published the T nonimmigrant status regulations in 2002 as an interim rule, which included eligibility criteria, the application process, evidentiary standards, and benefits associated with the T visa. Since then, the public has submitted comments on the regulations and Congress has enacted numerous pieces of related legislation. With the interim rule, DHS is responding to the comments on the 2002 rule, clarifying requirements using insight gained from operating the program for more than 14 years, and amending provisions as required by legislation.

The interim rule was published in the Federal Register (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/19/2016-29900/classification-for-victims-of-severe-forms-of-trafficking-in-persons-eligibility-for-t-nonimmigrant) and will become effective on January 18, 2017. The public has until February 17, 2017 to submit comments by following the directions in the Federal Register notice.

These amendments also require USCIS to amend Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status and related forms. USCIS will accept older versions of Form I-914 for 60 days after the revised form is published.

The T visa was created for and provides immigration protection to victims of human trafficking, and allows eligible victims to remain in the United States to assist in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.
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