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The USCIS Issues an Updated Guidance on T Visa Adjudications

Immigration Papers.jpgThe United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued policy guidance regarding applications for T nonimmigrant status for victims of severe forms of trafficking.

If you would like to learn more about this new policy, it is in your best interest to reach out to our skilled New York immigration attorneys today. Our firm is dedicated to ensuring that our clients have the knowledge required to make informed decisions based on their immigration status.

What Does This Policy Do?

There are a number of different things that this policy will do. Below is a summary of how this policy will aid in helping victims of trafficking.

  • Illuminates that the age-based exemption to the requirement to comply with reasonable requests for assistance from law enforcement implements based on the victim’s age at the time of victimization.
  • Describes how USCIS evaluates the connection between the original victimization and the applicant’s lingering presence in the United States when evaluating the physical presence eligibility requirement.
  • Presents extensive direction on eligibility requirements, evidentiary standards, burdens of proof, admissibility determinations, travel considerations, and confidentiality protections for T nonimmigrant status applicants.
  • Explains how USCIS assesses involuntary servitude claims, including conditions of servitude induced by domestic violence, in addition to victimization that may occur during a deliberate smuggling arrangement.
  • Clarifies that principal T nonimmigrants looking to adjust status may present their Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) reflecting their most recent validity period of T nonimmigrant status along with their receipt notice for the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) as confirmation of employment authorization for 24 months, starting from the expiration date on Form I-94, unless the Form I-485 is denied or withdrawn.
  • This simplifies how USCIS defines the term “harboring,” an identified action under the federal definition of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
  • Reveals that USCIS is adopting the decision issued by the Ninth Circuit in Medina Tovar v. Zuchowski, a case concerning adjudication of petitions for U nonimmigrant status, for nationwide application in the adjudication of applications for T nonimmigrant status. Thus, when evaluating a spousal or stepparent and stepchild relationship between the principal T nonimmigrant applicant and a qualifying family member, USCIS evaluates whether the relationship existed at the time the principal application was fairly adjudicated, rather than when the principal application was filed.

If you have questions or concerns about this policy and how it may affect you, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today and speak with a dedicated immigration attorney.

Contact Our Firm

Katona & Associates, PLLC is an experienced, highly dedicated New York City immigration law firm located in lower Manhattan. Our firm works with clients in all matters of immigration law, including employment immigration, family immigration, deportation defense, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us to discuss your case and get the help you need.

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