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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AA59 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Classification for Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons; Eligibility for T Nonimmigrant Status 
Abstract:

The T nonimmigrant classification was created by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Public Law 106-386. The 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 Reauthorization Act of 2013, Public Law 113-4, have made amendments to the T nonimmigrant status provisions in the Immigration and Nationality 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 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
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 U.S.C. 552    5 U.S.C. 552a    8 U.S.C. 1101 to 1104    8 U.S.C. 1182    8 U.S.C. 1184    8 U.S.C. 1187    8 U.S.C. 1201    8 U.S.C. 1224 to 1227    8 U.S.C. 1252 to 1252a    22 U.S.C. 7101    22 U.S.C. 7105    Pub. L. 113-4   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

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 provides evidentiary guidance to assist in the application process.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Section 107(e) of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 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 to also serve as 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 10 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 this rule include: assistance to trafficked victims and their families; an increase in the number of cases brought forward for investigation and/or prosecution of traffickers in persons; heightened awareness by the law enforcement community of trafficking in persons; and 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, in cooperation with other DHS components.

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  01/00/2017 
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 Information URL: www.regulations.gov   Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Maureen A. Dunn
Chief, Humanitarian Affairs Division
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Policy and Strategy, Suite 1200, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20529
Phone:202 272-8377
Fax:202 272-1480