Am I Eligible for a T-1 Visa?

The United States Congress passed into law the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act in 2000, creating protections for immigrants who have become victims of coercive labor practices in the U.S.or trafficking into the U.S. (including having to pay for work visas from abroad).

Regardless of your documentation status in the U.S., if you were subjected to abuse from an employer, you may be eligible to receive a T-1 visa and remain in the United States. The T-1 visa is specifically for people currently in the United States, but other visas are available for overseas family members of T-1 visa recipients.

How does the T-1 visa work?

There are some qualifications to become eligible for the T-1 visa:

  • You must have experienced coercion in labor practices at work in the U.S. or trafficking to provide labor or services – e.g. threats, forcing or coercing you to do something, like work in particular conditions or hours you did not want to do. This can include threats like abuse of the legal system including threats of deportation.  
  • You must be helpful to law enforcement or other authorities (e.g. the Department of Labor) and comply with requests for information about the coercion you experienced and your entry to the U.S.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you would experience extreme hardship were you to be removed from the United States. This can include very many reasons including services you need, available in the U.S. but not available in your home country.

If granted, the T-1 visa can allow you to remain in the United States for up to 4 years. 

You may then be able to change your immigration status to become a lawful permanent resident. There are also visas available for the loved ones of those who receive a T-1 visa, which would allow you to bring loved ones to the United States.

How do I demonstrate extreme hardship?

Demonstrating extreme hardship is an important step to receiving a T-1 visa. It is ultimately up to the immigration officer to determine whether or not you would experience extreme hardship, but part of the application process is making an argument for why you would. This can include not being able to access services you need that are not available in your home country, risks to you in your home country, and many others. Extreme hardship isn’t limited to just these reasons. You can always make an argument for any other issue you’d face if you were to be denied a visa.

Getting help with your visa application

Applying for a visa can be a long and complicated process. Having an experienced and knowledgeable attorney by your side can help you make your case and ensure your application is submitted properly. RelisLaw has helped many people through this process before, and we can help you too. Contact RelisLaw at 1-800-514-4290 to schedule a consultation today and simplify your visa application. Consultations are also available via Skype, Zoom, and other platforms.

The following two tabs change content below.


We help people from around the world to live and work freely in the U.S., to achieve their dreams, unite families, or escape persecution. No matter what immigration service you need, RelisLaw will provide caring and dependable counsel to you and aggressive advocacy to vigorously fight for you using every available legal avenue. As a global firm, we work with people in countries around the world. We meet clients across the U.S., as well as in New York, Toronto, and Montréal. We also meet with clients globally, located in any country, via Skype and other platforms.

Latest posts by RelisLaw (see all)