In 2000, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act became law. This led to the T nonimmigrant status, and it gave authorities more power to investigate crimes such as human trafficking. Most victims of human trafficking are poor or otherwise vulnerable. They are coaxed into coming to Maryland or other parts of the country with promises of employment or other perks.
Those who have the T nonimmigrant status are allowed to stay in the United States to help in the prosecution of a human trafficking crime. It also provides certain protections to both current and former victims of what amounts to a modern day form of slavery. To qualify for this status, an individual must have entered the United States as a result of being trafficked. Furthermore, individuals must comply with requests to help in an investigation or prosecution if possible.
It is also necessary to show that leaving the country would cause a hardship for an individual. To apply for this status, a person would need to submit Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status, provide photographs and submit evidence of being a human trafficking victim. Individuals may also apply on behalf of a child, spouse or parent. It may also be possible to apply for an unmarried sibling under the age of 18.
Those who are seeking to remain in the country may do so with the help of an attorney. People who may face threats of violence if returned home may in some cases be allowed to stay regardless of how they entered the country. Individuals may be able to learn more about how to qualify for a visa or other forms of legal status for themselves.