8 CFR 214.11 - Alien victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons.

§ 214.11 Alien victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons.
(a) Definitions. The Service shall apply the following definitions as provided in sections 103 and 107(e) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) with due regard for the definitions and application of these terms in 28 CFR part 1100 and the provisions of chapter 77 of title 18, United States Code:
Bona fide application means an application for T-1 nonimmigrant status as to which, after initial review, the Service has determined that there appears to be no instance of fraud in the application, the application is complete, properly filed, contains an LEA endorsement or credible secondary evidence, includes completed fingerprint and background checks, and presents prima facie evidence to show eligibility for T nonimmigrant status, including admissibility.
Child means a person described as such in section 101(b)(1) of the Act.
Coercion means threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.
Commercial sex act means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.
Debt bondage means the status or condition of a debtor arising from a pledge by the debtor of his or her personal services or of those of a person under his or her control as a security for debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined.
Immediate family member means the spouse or a child of a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, and, in the case of a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons who is under 21 years of age, a parent of the victim.
Involuntary servitude means a condition of servitude induced by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that, if the person did not enter into or continue in such condition, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint; or the abuse or threatened abuse of legal process. Accordingly, involuntary servitude includes “a condition of servitude in which the victim is forced to work for the defendant by the use or threat of physical restraint or physical injury, or by the use or threat of coercion through law or the legal process. This definition encompasses those cases in which the defendant holds the victim in servitude by placing the victim in fear of such physical restraint or injury or legal coercion.” (United States v. Kozminski, 487 U.S. 931, 952 (1988)).
Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) means any Federal law enforcement agency that has the responsibility and authority for the detection, investigation, or prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons. LEAs include the following components of the Department of Justice: the United States Attorneys' Offices, the Civil Rights and Criminal Divisions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Service), and the United States Marshals Service. The Diplomatic Security Service, Department of State, also is an LEA.
Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) endorsement means Supplement B, Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons of Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status.
Peonage means a status or condition of involuntary servitude based upon real or alleged indebtedness.
Reasonable request for assistance means a reasonable request made by a law enforcement officer or prosecutor to a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons to assist law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the acts of trafficking in persons. The “reasonableness” of the request depends on the totality of the circumstances taking into account general law enforcement and prosecutorial practices, the nature of the victimization, and the specific circumstances of the victim, including fear, severe traumatization (both mental and physical), and the age and maturity of young victims.
Severe forms of trafficking in persons means sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Sex trafficking means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
TVPA means the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, Division A of the VTVPA, Pub. L. 106-386.
United States means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons means an alien who is or has been subject to a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined in section 103 of the VTVPA and in this section.
VTVPA means the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, Pub. L. 106-386.
(b) Eligibility. Under section 101(a)(15)(T)(i) of the Act, and subject to section 214(n) of the Act, the Service may classify an alien, if otherwise admissible, as a T-1 nonimmigrant if the alien demonstrates that he or she:
(1) Is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons;
(2) Is physically present in the United States, American Samoa, or at a port-of-entry thereto, on account of such trafficking in persons;
(3) Either:
(i) Has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of such trafficking in persons, or
(ii) Is less than 15 years of age; and
(4) Would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal, as described in paragraph (i) of this section.
(c) Aliens ineligible for T nonimmigrant status. No alien, otherwise admissible, shall be eligible to receive a T nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(T) of the Act if there is substantial reason to believe that the alien has committed an act of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
(d) Application procedures for T status—
(1) Filing an application. An applicant seeking T nonimmigrant status shall submit, by mail, a complete application package containing Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status, along with all necessary supporting documentation, to the Service.
(2) Contents of the application package. In addition to Form I-914, an application package must include the following:
(i) The proper fee for Form I-914 as provided in § 103.7(b)(1) of this chapter, or an application for a fee waiver as provided in § 103.7(c) of this chapter;
(ii) Three current photographs;
(iii) The fingerprint fee as provided in § 103.7(b)(1) of this chapter;
(iv) Evidence demonstrating that the applicant is a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons as set forth in paragraph (f) of this section;
(v) Evidence that the alien is physically present in the United States on account of a severe form of trafficking in persons as set forth in paragraph (g) of this section;
(vi) Evidence that the applicant has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons, as set forth in paragraph (h) of this section, or has not attained 15 years of age; and
(vii) Evidence that the applicant would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if he or she were removed from the United States, as set forth in paragraph (i) of this section.
(3) Evidentiary standards. The applicant may submit any credible evidence relevant to the essential elements of the T nonimmigrant status. Original documents or copies may be submitted as set forth in § 103.2(b)(4) and (b)(5) of this chapter. Any document containing text in a foreign language shall be submitted in accordance with § 103.2(b)(3) of this chapter.
(4) Filing deadline in cases in which victimization occurred prior to October 28, 2000. Victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons whose victimization occurred prior to October 28, 2000 must file a completed application within one (1) year of January 31, 2002 in order to be eligible to receive T-1 nonimmigrant status. If the victimization occurred prior to October 28, 2000, an alien who was a child at the time he or she was a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons must file a T status application within one (1) year of his or her 21st birthday, or one (1) year of January 31, 2002, whichever is later. For purposes of determining the filing deadline, an act of severe form of trafficking in persons will be deemed to have occurred on the last day in which an act constituting an element of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section, occurred. If the applicant misses the deadline, he or she must show that exceptional circumstances prevented him or her from filing in a timely manner. Exceptional circumstances may include severe trauma, either psychological or physical, that prevented the victim from applying within the allotted time.
(5) Fingerprint procedure. All applicants for T nonimmigrant status must be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting a criminal background check in accordance with the process and procedures described in § 103.2(e) of this chapter. After submitting an application with fee to the Service, the applicant will be notified of the proper time and location to appear for fingerprinting.
(6) Personal interview. After the filing of an application for T nonimmigrant status, the Service may require an applicant to participate in a personal interview. The necessity of an interview is to be determined solely by the Service. All interviews will be conducted in person at a Service-designated location. Every effort will be made to schedule the interview in a location convenient to the applicant.
(7) Failure to appear for an interview or failure to follow fingerprinting requirements.
(i) Failure to appear for a scheduled interview without prior authorization or to comply with fingerprint processing requirements may result in the denial of the application.
(ii) Failure to appear shall be excused if the notice of the interview or fingerprint appointment was not mailed to the applicant's current address and such address had been provided to the Service unless the Service determines that the applicant received reasonable notice of the appointment. The applicant must notify the Service of any change of address in accordance with § 265.1 of this chapter prior to the date on which the notice of the interview or fingerprint appointment was mailed to the applicant.
(iii) Failure to appear at the interview or fingerprint appointment may be excused, at the discretion of the Service, if the applicant promptly contacts the Service and demonstrates that such failure to appear was the result of exceptional circumstances.
(8) Aliens in pending immigration proceedings. Individuals who believe they are victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons and who are in pending immigration proceedings must inform the Service if they intend to apply for T nonimmigrant status under this section. With the concurrence of Service counsel, a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons in proceedings before an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) may request that the proceedings be administratively closed (or that a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider be indefinitely continued) in order to allow the alien to pursue an application for T nonimmigrant status with the Service. If the alien appears eligible for T nonimmigrant status, the immigration judge or the Board, whichever has jurisdiction, may grant such a request to administratively close the proceeding or continue a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider indefinitely. In the event the Service finds an alien ineligible for T-1 nonimmigrant status, the Service may recommence proceedings that have been administratively closed by filing a motion to re-calendar with the immigration court or a motion to reinstate with the Board. If the alien is in Service custody pending the completion of immigration proceedings, the Service may continue to detain the alien until a decision has been rendered on the application. An alien who is in custody and requests bond or a bond redetermination will be governed by the provisions of part 236 of this chapter.
(9) T applicants with final orders of exclusion, deportation or removal. An alien who is the subject of a final order is not precluded from filing an application for T-1 nonimmigrant status directly with the Service. The filing of an application for T nonimmigrant status has no effect on the Service's execution of a final order, although the alien may file a request for stay of removal pursuant to § 241.6(a) of this chapter. However, if the Service subsequently determines, under the procedures of this section, that the application is bona fide, the Service will automatically stay execution of the final order of deportation, exclusion, or removal, and the stay will remain in effect until a final decision is made on the T-1 application. The time during which such a stay is in effect shall not be counted in determining the reasonableness of the duration of the alien's continued detention under the standards of § 241.4 of this chapter. If the T-1 application is denied, the stay of the final order is deemed lifted as of the date of such denial, without regard to whether the alien appeals the decision. If the Service grants an application for T nonimmigrant status, the final order shall be deemed canceled by operation of law as of the date of the approval.
(e) Dissemination of information. In appropriate cases, and in accordance with Department of Justice policies, the Service shall make information from applications for T-1 nonimmigrant status available to other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) with the authority to detect, investigate, or prosecute severe forms of trafficking in persons. The Service shall coordinate with the appropriate Department of Justice component responsible for prosecution in all cases where there is a current or impending prosecution of any defendants who may be charged with severe forms of trafficking in persons crimes in connection with the victimization of the applicant to ensure that the Department of Justice component responsible for prosecution has access to all witness statements provided by the applicant in connection with the application for T-1 nonimmigrant status, and any other documents needed to facilitate investigation or prosecution of such severe forms of trafficking in persons offenses.
(f) Evidence demonstrating that the applicant is a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons. The applicant must submit evidence that fully establishes eligibility for each element of the T nonimmigrant status to the satisfaction of the Attorney General. First, an alien must demonstrate that he or she is a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons. The applicant may satisfy this requirement either by submitting an LEA endorsement, by demonstrating that the Service previously has arranged for the alien's continued presence under 28 CFR 1100.35, or by submitting sufficient credible secondary evidence, describing the nature and scope of any force, fraud, or coercion used against the victim (this showing is not necessary if the person induced to perform a commercial sex act is under the age of 18). An application must contain a statement by the applicant describing the facts of his or her victimization. In determining whether an applicant is a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, the Service will consider all credible and relevant evidence.
(1) Law Enforcement Agency endorsement. An LEA endorsement is not required. However, if provided, it must be submitted by an appropriate law enforcement official on Supplement B, Declaration of Law Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons, of Form I-914. The LEA endorsement must be filled out completely in accordance with the instructions contained on the form and must attach the results of any name or database inquiry performed. In order to provide persuasive evidence, the LEA endorsement must contain a description of the victimization upon which the application is based (including the dates the severe forms of trafficking in persons and victimization occurred), and be signed by a supervising official responsible for the investigation or prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons. The LEA endorsement must address whether the victim had been recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained specifically for either labor or services, or for the purposes of a commercial sex act. The traffickers must have used force, fraud, or coercion to make the victim engage in the intended labor or services, or (for those 18 or older) the intended commercial sex act. The situations involving labor or services must rise to the level of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. The decision of whether or not to complete an LEA endorsement for an applicant shall be at the discretion of the LEA.
(2) Primary evidence of victim status. The Service will consider an LEA endorsement as primary evidence that the applicant has been the victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons provided that the details contained in the endorsement meet the definition of a severe form of trafficking in persons under this section. In the alternative, documentation from the Service granting the applicant continued presence in accordance with 28 CFR 1100.35 will be considered as primary evidence that the applicant has been the victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, unless the Service has revoked the continued presence based on a determination that the applicant is not a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
(3) Secondary evidence of victim status; Affidavits. Credible secondary evidence and affidavits may be submitted to explain the nonexistence or unavailability of the primary evidence and to otherwise establish the requirement that the applicant be a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons. The secondary evidence must include an original statement by the applicant indicating that he or she is a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons; credible evidence of victimization and cooperation, describing what the alien has done to report the crime to an LEA; and a statement indicating whether similar records for the time and place of the crime are available. The statement or evidence should demonstrate that good faith attempts were made to obtain the LEA endorsement, including what efforts the applicant undertook to accomplish these attempts. Applicants are encouraged to provide and document all credible evidence, because there is no guarantee that a particular piece of evidence will result in a finding that the applicant was a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons. If the applicant does not submit an LEA endorsement, the Service will proceed with the adjudication based on the secondary evidence and affidavits submitted. A non-exhaustive list of secondary evidence includes trial transcripts, court documents, police reports, news articles, and copies of reimbursement forms for travel to and from court. In addition, applicants may also submit their own affidavit and the affidavits of other witnesses. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Service.
(4) Obtaining an LEA endorsement. A victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons who does not have an LEA endorsement should contact the LEA to which the alien has provided assistance to request an endorsement. If the applicant has not had contact with an LEA regarding the acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons, the applicant should promptly contact the nearest Service or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) field office or U.S. Attorneys' Office to file a complaint, assist in the investigation or prosecution of acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons, and request an LEA endorsement. If the applicant was recently liberated from the trafficking in persons situation, the applicant should ask the LEA for an endorsement. Alternatively, the applicant may contact the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force complaint hotline at 1-888-428-7581 to file a complaint and be referred to an LEA.
(g) Physical presence on account of trafficking in persons. The applicant must establish that he or she is physically present in the United States, American Samoa, or at a port-of-entry thereto on account of such trafficking, and that he or she is a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons that forms the basis for the application. Specifically, the physical presence requirement reaches an alien who: is present because he or she is being subjected to a severe form of trafficking in persons; was recently liberated from a severe form of trafficking in persons; or was subject to severe forms of trafficking in persons at some point in the past and whose continuing presence in the United States is directly related to the original trafficking in persons.
(1) In general. The evidence and statements included with the application must state the date and place (if known) and the manner and purpose (if known) for which the applicant entered the United States, American Samoa, or a port-of-entry thereto, and demonstrate that the applicant is present now on account of the applicant's victimization as described in paragraph (f) of this section and section 101(a)(15)(T)(i)(I) of the Act.
(2) Opportunity to depart. If the alien has escaped the traffickers before law enforcement became involved in the matter, he or she must show that he or she did not have a clear chance to leave the United States in the interim. The Service will consider whether an applicant had a clear chance to leave in light of the individual applicant's circumstances. Information relevant to this determination may include, but is not limited to, circumstances attributable to the trafficking in persons situation, such as trauma, injury, lack of resources, or travel documents that have been seized by the traffickers. This determination may reach both those who entered the United States lawfully and those who entered without being admitted or paroled. The Service will consider all evidence presented to determine the physical presence requirement, including asking the alien to answer questions on Form I-914, about when he or she escaped from the trafficker, what activities he or she has undertaken since that time, including the steps he or she may have taken to deal with the consequences of having been trafficked, and the applicant's ability to leave the United States.
(3) Departure from the United States. An alien who has voluntarily left (or has been removed from) the United States at any time after the act of a severe form of trafficking in persons shall be deemed not to be present in the United States as a result of such trafficking in persons unless the alien's reentry into the United States was the result of the continued victimization of the alien or a new incident of a severe form of trafficking in persons described in section 101(a)(15)(T)(i)(I) of the Act.
(h) Compliance with reasonable requests from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution. Except as provided in paragraph (h)(3) of this section, the applicant must submit evidence that fully establishes that he or she has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons. As provided in paragraph (h)(3) of this section, if the victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons is under age 15, he or she is not required to comply with any reasonable request for assistance in order to be eligible for T nonimmigrant status, but may cooperate at his or her discretion.
(1) Primary evidence of compliance with law enforcement requests. An LEA endorsement describing the assistance provided by the applicant is not required evidence. However, if an LEA endorsement is provided as set forth in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, it will be considered primary evidence that the applicant has complied with any reasonable request in the investigation or prosecution of the severe form of trafficking in persons of which the applicant was a victim. If the Service has reason to believe that the applicant has not complied with any reasonable request for assistance by the endorsing LEA or other LEAs, the Service will contact the LEA and both the Service and the LEA will take all practical steps to reach a resolution acceptable to both agencies. The Service may, at its discretion, interview the alien regarding the evidence for and against the compliance, and allow the alien to submit additional evidence of such compliance. If the Service determines that the alien has not complied with any reasonable request for assistance, then the application will be denied, and any approved application based on the LEA endorsement will be revoked pursuant to this section.
(2) Secondary evidence of compliance with law enforcement requests; Affidavits. Credible secondary evidence and affidavits may be submitted to show the nonexistence or unavailability of the primary evidence and to otherwise establish the requirement that the applicant comply with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of that severe form of trafficking in persons. The secondary evidence must include an original statement by the applicant that indicates the reason the LEA endorsement does not exist or is unavailable, and whether similar records documenting any assistance provided by the applicant are available. The statement or evidence must show that an LEA that has responsibility and authority for the detection, investigation, or prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons has information about such trafficking in persons, that the victim has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of such acts of trafficking, and, if the victim did not report the crime at the time, why the crime was not previously reported. The statement or evidence should demonstrate that good faith attempts were made to obtain the LEA endorsement, including what efforts the applicant undertook to accomplish these attempts. In addition, applicants may also submit their own affidavit and the affidavits of other witnesses. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Service. Applicants are encouraged to describe and document all applicable factors, since there is no guarantee that a particular reason will result in a finding that the applicant has complied with reasonable requests. An applicant who never has had contact with an LEA regarding the acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons will not be eligible for T-1 nonimmigrant status.
(3) Exception for applicants under the age of 15. Applicants under the age of 15 are not required to demonstrate compliance with the requirement of any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation and prosecution of acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons. Applicants under the age of 15 must provide evidence of their age. Primary evidence that a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons has not yet reached the age of 15 would be an official copy of the alien's birth certificate, a passport, or a certified medical opinion. Secondary evidence regarding the age of the applicant also may be submitted in accordance with § 103.2(b)(2)(i) of this chapter. An applicant under the age of 15 still must provide evidence demonstrating that he or she satisfies the other necessary requirements, including that he or she is the victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons and faces extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States.
(i) Evidence of extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal. To be eligible for T-1 nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(T)(i) of the Act, an applicant must demonstrate that removal from the United States would subject the applicant to extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm.
(1) Standard. Extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm is a higher standard than that of extreme hardship as described in § 240.58 of this chapter. A finding of extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm may not be based upon current or future economic detriment, or the lack of, or disruption to, social or economic opportunities. Factors that may be considered in evaluating whether removal would result in extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm should take into account both traditional extreme hardship factors and those factors associated with having been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) The age and personal circumstances of the applicant;
(ii) Serious physical or mental illness of the applicant that necessitates medical or psychological attention not reasonably available in the foreign country;
(iii) The nature and extent of the physical and psychological consequences of severe forms of trafficking in persons;
(iv) The impact of the loss of access to the United States courts and the criminal justice system for purposes relating to the incident of severe forms of trafficking in persons or other crimes perpetrated against the applicant, including criminal and civil redress for acts of trafficking in persons, criminal prosecution, restitution, and protection;
(v) The reasonable expectation that the existence of laws, social practices, or customs in the foreign country to which the applicant would be returned would penalize the applicant severely for having been the victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons;
(vi) The likelihood of re-victimization and the need, ability, or willingness of foreign authorities to protect the applicant;
(vii) The likelihood that the trafficker in persons or others acting on behalf of the trafficker in the foreign country would severely harm the applicant; and
(viii) The likelihood that the applicant's individual safety would be seriously threatened by the existence of civil unrest or armed conflict as demonstrated by the designation of Temporary Protected Status, under section 244 of the Act, or the granting of other relevant protections.
(2) Evidence. An applicant is encouraged to describe and document all factors that may be relevant to his or her case, since there is no guarantee that a particular reason or reasons will result in a finding that removal would cause extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm to the applicant. Hardship to persons other than the alien victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons cannot be considered in determining whether an applicant would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm.
(3) Evaluation. The Service will evaluate on a case-by-case basis, after a review of the evidence, whether the applicant has demonstrated extreme hardship involving unusual or severe harm. The Service will consider all credible evidence submitted regarding the nature and scope of the hardship should the applicant be removed from the United States, including evidence of hardship arising from circumstances surrounding the victimization as described in section 101(a)(15)(T)(i)(I) of the Act and any other circumstances. In appropriate cases, the Service may consider evidence from relevant country condition reports and any other public or private sources of information. The determination that extreme hardship involving unusual or severe harm to the alien exists is to be made solely by the Service.
(j) Waiver of grounds of inadmissibility. An application for a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(d)(13) or section 212(d)(3) of the Act must be filed in accordance with § 212.16 of this chapter, and submitted to the Service with the completed application package.
(k) Bona fide application for T-1 nonimmigrant status—
(1) Criteria. Once an application is submitted to the Service, the Service will conduct an initial review to determine if the application is a bona fide application for T nonimmigrant status. An application shall be determined to be bona fide if, after initial review, it is properly filed, there appears to be no instance of fraud in the application, the application is complete (including the LEA endorsement or other secondary evidence), the application presents prima facie evidence of each element to show eligibility for T-1 nonimmigrant status, and the Service has completed the necessary fingerprinting and criminal background checks. If an alien is inadmissible under section 212(a) of the Act, the application will not be deemed to be bona fide unless the only grounds of inadmissibility are those under the circumstances described in section 212(d)(13) of the Act, or unless the Service has granted a waiver of inadmissibility on any other grounds. All waivers are discretionary and require a request for a waiver. Under section 212(d)(13), an application can be bona fide before the waiver is granted. This is not the case under other grounds of inadmissibility.
(2) Determination by USCIS. An application for T-1 status under this section will not be treated as a bona fide application until USCIS has provided the notice described in paragraph (k)(3) of this section. In the event that an application is incomplete or if the application is complete but does not present sufficient evidence to establish prima facie eligibility for each required element of T nonimmigrant status, USCIS will follow the procedures provided in 8 CFR 103.2(b) for requesting additional evidence, issuing a notice of intent to deny, or adjudicating the case on the merits.
(3) Notice to alien. Once an application is determined to be a bona fide application for a T-1 nonimmigrant status, the Service will provide written confirmation to the applicant.
(4) Stay of final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal. A determination by the Service that an application for T-1 nonimmigrant status is bona fide automatically stays the execution of any final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal. This stay shall remain in effect until there is a final decision on the T application. The filing of an application for T nonimmigrant status does not stay the execution of a final order unless the Service has determined that the application is bona fide. Neither an immigration judge nor the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) has jurisdiction to adjudicate an application for a stay of execution, deportation, or removal order, on the basis of the filing of an application for T nonimmigrant status.
(l) Review and decision on applications—
(1) De novo review. The Service shall conduct a de novo review of all evidence submitted and is not bound by its previous factual determinations as to any essential elements of the T nonimmigrant status application. Evidence previously submitted for this and other immigration benefits or relief may be used by the Service in evaluating the eligibility of an applicant for T nonimmigrant status. However, the Service will not be bound by its previous factual determinations as to any essential elements of the T classification. The Service will determine, in its sole discretion, the evidentiary value of previously or concurrently submitted evidence.
(2) Burden of proof. At all stages of the processing of an application for any benefits under T nonimmigrant status, the burden shall be on the applicant to present to the Service evidence that fully establishes eligibility for the desired benefit.
(3) Decision. After completing its review of the application, the Service shall issue a written decision granting or denying the application. If the Service determines that the applicant has met the requirements for T-1 nonimmigrant status, the Service shall grant the application, subject to the annual limitation as provided in paragraph (m) of this section. Along with the approval, the Service will include a list of nongovernmental organizations to which the applicant can refer regarding the alien's options while in the United States and resources available to the alien.
(4) Work authorization. When the Service grants an application for T-1 nonimmigrant status, the Service will provide the alien with an Employment Authorization Document incident to that status, which shall extend concurrently with the duration of the alien's T-1 nonimmigrant status.
(m) Annual cap. In accordance with section 214(n)(2) of the Act, the total number of principal aliens issued T-1 nonimmigrant status may not exceed 5,000 in any fiscal year.
(1) Issuance of T-1 nonimmigrant status. Once the cap is reached in any fiscal year, the Service will continue to review and consider applications in the order they are received. The Service will determine if the applicants are eligible for T-1 nonimmigrant status, but will not issue T-1 nonimmigrant status at that time. The revocation of an alien's T-1 status will have no effect on the annual cap.
(2) Waiting list. All eligible applicants who, due solely to the cap, are not granted T-1 nonimmigrant status shall be placed on a waiting list and will receive notice of such placement. While on the waiting list, the applicant shall maintain his or her current means to prevent removal (deferred action, parole, or stay of removal) and any employment authorization, subject to any limits imposed on that authorization. Priority on the waiting list is determined by the date the application was properly filed, with the oldest applications receiving the highest priority. As new classifications become available in subsequent years, the Service will issue them to applicants on the waiting list, in the order in which the applications were properly filed, providing the applicant remains admissible. The Service may require new fingerprint and criminal history checks before issuing an approval. After T-1 nonimmigrant status has been issued to qualifying applicants on the waiting list, any remaining T-1 nonimmigrant numbers will be issued to new qualifying applicants in the order that the applications were properly filed.
(n) [Reserved]
(o) Admission of the T-1 applicant's immediate family members—
(1) Eligibility. Subject to section 214(n) of the Act, an alien who has applied for or been granted T-1 nonimmigrant status may apply for admission of an immediate family member, who is otherwise admissible to the United States, in a T-2 (spouse) or T-3 (child) derivative status (and, in the case of a T-1 principal applicant who is a child, a T-4 (parent) derivative status), if accompanying or following to join the principal alien. The applicant must submit evidence sufficient to demonstrate that:
(i) The alien for whom T-2, T-3, or T-4 status is being sought is an immediate family member of a T-1 nonimmigrant, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section, and is otherwise eligible for that status; and
(ii) The immediate family member or the T-1 principal would suffer extreme hardship, as described in paragraph (o)(5) of this section, if the immediate family member was not allowed to accompany or follow to join the principal T-1 nonimmigrant.
(2) Filing procedures. A T-1 principal may apply for T-2, T-3, or T-4 nonimmigrant status for an immediate family member by submitting Form I-914 and all necessary documentation by mail, including Supplement A, to the Service. The application for derivative T nonimmigrant status for eligible family members can be filed on the same application as the T-1 application, or in a separate application filed at a subsequent time.
(3) Contents of the application package for an immediate family member. In addition to Form I-914, an application for T-2, T-3, or T-4 nonimmigrant status must include the following:
(i) The proper fee for Form I-914 as provided in § 103.7(b)(1) of this chapter, or an application for a fee waiver as provided in § 103.7(c) of this chapter;
(ii) Three current photographs;
(iii) The fingerprint fee as provided in § 103.2(e) of this chapter for each immediate family member;
(iv) Evidence demonstrating the relationship of an immediate family member, as provided in paragraph (o)(4) of this section; and
(v) Evidence demonstrating extreme hardship as provided in paragraph (o)(5) of this section.
(4) Relationship. The relationship must exist at the time the application for the T-1 nonimmigrant status was filed, and must continue to exist at the time of the application for T-2, T-3, or T-4 status and at the time of the immediate family member's subsequent admission to the United States. If the T-1 principal alien proves that he or she became the parent of a child after the T-1 nonimmigrant status was filed, the child shall be eligible to accompany or follow to join the T-1 principal.
(5) Evidence demonstrating extreme hardship for immediate family members. The application must demonstrate that each alien for whom T-2, T-3, or T-4 status is being sought, or the principal T-1 applicant, would suffer extreme hardship if the immediate family member was not admitted to the United States or was removed from the United States (if already present). When the immediate family members are following to join the principal, the extreme hardship must be substantially different than the hardship generally experienced by other residents of their country of origin who are not victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons. The Service will consider all credible evidence of extreme hardship to the T-1 recipient or the individual immediate family members. The determination of the extreme hardship claim will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the factors outlined in § 240.58 of this chapter. Applicants are encouraged to raise and document all applicable factors, since there is no guarantee that a particular reason or reasons will result in a finding of extreme hardship if the applicant is not allowed to enter or remain in the United States. In addition to these factors, other factors that may be considered in evaluating extreme hardship include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) The need to provide financial support to the principal alien;
(ii) The need for family support for a principal alien; or
(iii) The risk of serious harm, particularly bodily harm, to an immediate family member from the perpetrators of the severe forms of trafficking in persons.
(6) Fingerprinting; interviews. The provisions for fingerprinting and interviews in paragraphs (c)(5) through (c)(7) of this section also are applicable to applications for immediate family members.
(7) Admissibility. If an alien is inadmissible, an application for a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(d)(13) or section 212(d)(3) of the Act must be filed in accordance with § 212.16 of this chapter, and submitted to the Service with the completed application package.
(8) Review and decision. After reviewing the application under the standards of paragraph (l) of this section, the Service shall issue a written decision granting or denying the application for T-2, T-3, or T-4 status.
(9) Derivative grants. Individuals who are granted T-2, T-3, or T-4 nonimmigrant status are not subject to an annual cap. Applications for T-2, T-3, or T-4 nonimmigrant status will not be granted until a T-1 status has been issued to the related principal alien.
(10) Employment authorization. An alien granted T-2, T-3, or T-4 nonimmigrant status may apply for employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with the appropriate fee or an application for fee waiver, in accordance with the instructions on, or attached to, that form. For derivatives in the United States, the Form I-765 may be filed concurrently with the filing of the application for T-2, T-3, or T-4 status or at any time thereafter. If the application for employment authorization is approved, the T-2, T-3, or T-4 alien will be granted employment authorization pursuant to § 274a.12(c)(25) of this chapter. Employment authorization will last for the length of the duration of the T-1 nonimmigrant status.
(11) Aliens outside the United States. When the Service approves an application for a qualifying immediate family member who is outside the United States, the Service will notify the T-1 principal alien of such approval on Form I-797, Notice of Action. Form I-914, Supplement A, Supplemental Application for Immediate Family Members of T-1 Recipient, must be forwarded to the Department of State for delivery to the American Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the area in which the T-1 recipient's qualifying immediate family member is located. The supplemental form may be used by a consular officer in determining the alien's eligibility for a T-2, T-3, or T-4 visa, as appropriate.
(p) Duration of T nonimmigrant status.
(1) In general. An approved T nonimmigrant status shall expire after 4 years from the date of approval. The status may be extended if a Federal, State, or local law enforcement official, prosecutor, judge, or other authority investigating or prosecuting activity relating to human trafficking certifies that the presence of the alien in the United States is necessary to assist in the investigation or prosecution of such activity. At the time an alien is approved for T nonimmigrant status or receives an extension, USCIS shall notify the alien when his or her nonimmigrant status will expire. The applicant shall immediately notify USCIS of any changes in the applicant's circumstances that may affect eligibility under section 101(a)(15)(T)(i) of the Act and this section.
(2) Information pertaining to adjustment of status. USCIS will notify an alien granted T nonimmigrant status of the requirement to timely apply for adjustment of status, and that the failure to apply for adjustment of status in accordance with 8 CFR 245.23 will result in termination of the alien's T nonimmigrant status at the end of the 4-year period unless that status is extended in accordance with paragraph (p)(1) of this section. Aliens who properly apply for adjustment of status to that of a person admitted to permanent residence in accordance with 8 CFR 245.23 shall remain eligible for adjustment of status.
(q) De novo review. The Service shall conduct a de novo review of all evidence submitted at all stages in the adjudication of an application for T nonimmigrant status. Evidence previously submitted for this and other immigration benefits or relief may be used by the Service in evaluating the eligibility of an applicant for T nonimmigrant status. However, the Service will not be bound by its previous factual determinations as to any essential elements of the T classification. The Service will determine, in its sole discretion, the evidentiary value of previously or concurrently submitted evidence.
(r) Denial of application. Upon denial of any T application, the Service shall notify the applicant, any LEA providing an LEA endorsement, and the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Refugee Resettlement in writing of the decision and the reasons for the denial in accordance with § 103.3 of this chapter. Upon denial of an application for T nonimmigrant status, any benefits derived as a result of having filed a bona fide application will automatically be revoked when the denial becomes final. If an applicant chooses to appeal the denial pursuant to the provisions of § 103.3 of this chapter, the denial will not become final until the appeal is adjudicated.
(s) Revocation of approved T nonimmigrant status. The alien shall immediately notify the Service of any changes in the terms and conditions of an alien's circumstances that may affect eligibility under section 101(a)(15)(T) of the Act and this section.
(1) Grounds for notice of intent to revoke. The Service shall send to the T nonimmigrant a notice of intent to revoke the status in relevant part if it is determined that:
(i) The T nonimmigrant violated the requirements of section 101(a)(15)(T) of the Act or this section;
(ii) The approval of the application violated this section or involved error in preparation procedure or adjudication that affects the outcome;
(iii) In the case of a T-2 spouse, the alien's divorce from the T-1 principal alien has become final;
(iv) In the case of a T-1 principal alien, an LEA with jurisdiction to detect or investigate the acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons by which the alien was victimized notifies the Service that the alien has unreasonably refused to cooperate with the investigation or prosecution of the trafficking in persons and provides the Service with a detailed explanation of its assertions in writing; or
(v) The LEA providing the LEA endorsement withdraws its endorsement or disavows the statements made therein and notifies the Service with a detailed explanation of its assertions in writing.
(2) Notice of intent to revoke and consideration of evidence. A district director may revoke the approval of a T nonimmigrant status at any time, even after the validity of the status has expired. The notice of intent to revoke shall be in writing and shall contain a detailed statement of the grounds for the revocation and the time period allowed for the T nonimmigrant's rebuttal. The alien may submit evidence in rebuttal within 30 days of the date of the notice. The director shall consider all relevant evidence presented in deciding whether to revoke approval of the T nonimmigrant status. The determination of what is relevant evidence and the weight to be given to that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the director.
(3) Revocation of T nonimmigrant status. If, upon reconsideration, the approval previously granted is revoked, the director shall provide the alien with a written notification of the decision that explains the specific reasons for the revocation. The director also shall notify the LEA that supplied an endorsement to the alien, any consular officer having jurisdiction over the applicant, and HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement.
(4) Appeal of a revocation of approval. The alien may appeal the decision to revoke the approval within 15 days after the service of notice of the revocation. All appeals of a revocation of approval will be processed and adjudicated in accordance with § 103.3 of this chapter.
(5) Effect of revocation of T-1 status. In the event that a principal alien's T-1 nonimmigrant status is revoked, all T nonimmigrant status holders deriving status from the revoked status automatically shall have that status revoked. In the case where a T-2, T-3, or T-4 application is still awaiting adjudication, it shall be denied. The revocation of an alien's T-1 status will have no effect on the annual cap as described in paragraph (m) of this section.
(t) Removal proceedings without revocation. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Service from instituting removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act for conduct committed after admission, or for conduct or a condition that was not disclosed to the Service prior to the granting of nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(T) of the Act, including the misrepresentation of material facts in the applicant's application for T nonimmigrant status.
(u) [Reserved]
(v) Service officer referral. Any Service officer who receives a request from an alien seeking protection as a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons or seeking information regarding T nonimmigrant status shall follow the procedures for protecting and providing services to victims of severe forms of trafficking outlined in 28 CFR 1100.31. Aliens believed to be victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons shall be referred to the local Service office with responsibility for investigations relating to victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons for a consultation within 7 days. The local Service office may, in turn, refer the victim to another LEA with responsibility for investigating or prosecuting severe forms of trafficking in persons. If the alien has a credible claim to victimization, he or she will be given the opportunity to submit an application for T status pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(T) of the Act and any other benefit or protection for which he or she may be eligible. An alien determined not to have a credible claim to being a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons and who is subject to removal will be removed in accordance with Service policy.
[67 FR 4795, Jan. 31, 2002, as amended at 72 FR 19107, Apr. 17, 2007; 73 FR 75558, Dec. 12, 2008; 74 FR 55738, Oct. 28, 2009]

Title 8 published on 2014-01-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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Title 8 published on 2014-01-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 8 CFR 214 after this date.

  • 2014-05-12; vol. 79 # 91 - Monday, May 12, 2014
    1. 79 FR 26870 - Enhancing Opportunities for H-1B1, CW-1, and E-3 Nonimmigrants and EB-1 Immigrants
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
      Proposed rule.
      Written comments must be received on or before July 11, 2014
      8 CFR Parts 204, 214, 248, and 274a