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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AA59 Publication ID: Fall 2013 
Title: Classification for Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons; Eligibility for T Nonimmigrant Status 
Abstract: T classification was created by 107(e) of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VTVPA), Public Law 106-386. The T nonimmigrant classification was designed for eligible victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons who aid law enforcement with their investigation or prosecution of the traffickers, and who can establish that they would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if they were removed from the United States. The rule streamlines application procedures and responsibilities for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and provides guidance to the public on how to meet certain requirements to obtain T nonimmigrant status. Several reauthorizations, including the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2013, Public Law 113-4, have made amendments to the T nonimmigrant status provisions of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. This rule implements those amendments. 
Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 103; 8 CFR 212; 8 CFR 214; 8 CFR 274a; 8 CFR 299 (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.
Legal Authority: 5 USC 552; 5 USC 552a; 8 USC 1101 to 1104; 8 USC 1182; 8 USC 1184; 8 USC 1187; 8 USC 1201; 8 USC 1224 to 1227; 8 USC 1252 to 1252a; 22 USC 7101; 22 USC 7105; PL 113-4 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: T nonimmigrant status is available to eligible victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons who: (1) are victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons (defined by section 103 of the TVPA), (2) are physically present in the United States, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry, on account of trafficking (including the alien having been allowed entry into the United States for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or perpetrator of trafficking), (3) have complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking in persons (or are under 18 years of age or are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma), and (4) would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States. This rule addresses the essential elements that must be demonstrated for classification as a T nonimmigrant alien and implements statutory amendments to these elements, streamlines the procedures to be followed by applicants to apply for T nonimmigrant status, and evidentiary guidance to assist in the application process.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Section 107(e) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), Public Law 106-386, as amended, established the T classification to provide immigration relief for certain eligible victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons who assist law enforcement authorities in investigating and prosecuting the perpetrators of these crimes.

Alternatives: To provide victims with immigration benefits and services, keeping in mind the purpose of the T visa also being a law enforcement tool, DHS is considering and using suggestions from stakeholders in developing this regulation. These suggestions came in the form of public comment to the 2002 interim final rule as well as from over ten years of experience with the T nonimmigrant status program, including regular meetings with stakeholders and regular outreach events.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Applicants for T nonimmigrant status do not pay application or biometric fees. The anticipated benefits of these expenditures include: Assistance to trafficked victims and their families, prosecution of traffickers in persons, and the elimination of abuses caused by trafficking activities. Benefits which may be attributed to the implementation of this rule are expected to be: (1) An increase in the number of cases brought forward for investigation and/or prosecution; (2) Heightened awareness by the law enforcement community of trafficking in persons; and (3) Streamlining the application process for victims.

Risks: There is a 5,000-person limit to the number of individuals who can be granted T-1 status per fiscal year. Eligible applicants who are not granted T-1 status due solely to the numerical limit will be placed on a waiting list maintained by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To protect T-1 applicants and their families, USCIS will use various means to prevent the removal of T-1 applicants on the waiting list, and their family members who are eligible for derivative T status, including its existing authority to grant deferred action, parole, and stays of removal.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Interim Final Rule  01/31/2002  67 FR 4784 
Interim Final Rule Effective  03/04/2002   
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  04/01/2002   
Interim Final Rule  12/00/2013   
Additional Information: Transferred from RIN 1115-AG19
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Maureen A. Dunn
Chief, Family Immigration and Victim Protection Division
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW., Suite 1200,
Washington, DC 20529
Phone:202 272-1470
Fax:202 272-1480
Email: maureen.a.dunn@uscis.dhs.gov

 
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