The United States has a vast immigration system that can be confusing and overwhelming for many, especially for the people who are looking to apply for immigration relief. One of the most important things to understand is that there are different types of visas, each with its own set of requirements and limitations. For those who are in the country on a T Visa, there is a path to permanent residency or a green card.
What is a T Visa?
A T Visa is a nonimmigrant visa designed to help victims of human trafficking in the United States. The purpose of this visa is to provide temporary immigration status to those who have been forced into labor or sex trafficking and who are willing to assist law enforcement in prosecuting their traffickers. T Visa holders can stay in the United States for up to four years and are eligible to apply for work authorization.
It is very important to remark that this visa is temporary and the holder must change their status if they want to remain in the United States after the visa expires.
What is a Green Card?
A green card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document that gives an individual the legal right to live and work in the United States permanently.
Green card holders are authorized to work for any employer in the United States, travel in and out of the country freely, and most importantly, apply for citizenship after a certain number of years.
Transitioning from a T Visa to a Green Card
The T Visa holders may be able to apply for a green card if they meet certain requirements. The process can be complicated and extended, so it is recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer to get the proper guidance and assistance in starting this process.
One way to obtain a green card as a T Visa holder is through the T Visa Adjustment of Status process. This process allows you to apply for a green card while you are still in the United States.
To be eligible for this process, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be physically present in the United States on a valid T Visa
It is necessary that you still have valid status on your T Visa when you apply for a green card. However, if your T Visa expires you still can apply for a Green Card, but you must leave the United States and apply for a green card from abroad.
- Have been in the United States for at least 3 years since your arrival on the T Visa
To be eligible for a green card, you must have been physically present in the United States for at least three years since your arrival on the T Visa, so you must wait if you have only one or two years as a holder of the T Visa.
- Have been a person of good moral character during your time in the United States
To apply for a Green Card, you must be able to demonstrate that you have not committed any crimes and have been a person of good moral character during your time in the United States. You can prove this through your police clearance and affidavits.
- Have not unreasonably refused to provide assistance to law enforcement during the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking crimes
To be a T Visa holder and to apply for a Green Card, you must have cooperated with law enforcement during any investigations or prosecutions related to your trafficking case.
If you meet these requirements, you can apply for a green card by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence, or Adjustment of Status. Additionally, you will also need to provide supporting documentation such as a medical examination, police clearance certificate, and proof of financial support.
Other Options to Explore if You’re Not Eligible for T Visa Adjustment of Status
If you are not eligible for the T Visa Adjustment of Status process, don’t worry! There are other options that may be applicable to you. For example, you may be able to apply for a green card through a family member who is a U.S. citizen or through your employer- if they are willing to sponsor you.
All these options can have very complex processes which is why it’s highly advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer to determine the best path forward.
What You Must Know About This Process
Transitioning from a T Visa to a green card can be a long and complicated process, but it is possible with the help of an experienced immigration lawyer. The T Visa Adjustment of Status process is one option to consider, but there may be other avenues to explore as well.
Ultimately, the key to success is having a thorough understanding of immigration law and regulations, as well as working with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process and navigate any potential roadblocks.
It is important to note that immigration laws and regulations can change over time, and it is always a good idea to consult with an immigration lawyer for the most up-to-date and accurate information on your specific situation.
Talk to us today!
If you are a T Visa holder seeking permanent residency in the United States, know that you have options. With the right guidance and support, you can successfully navigate the immigration system and achieve your goal of obtaining a green card and becoming a US permanent resident.
If you believe you need assistance about this matter, remember that it is free to call our office to have your case evaluated at 630 504-0648.
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