Human trafficking is a horrific crime that affects millions of people worldwide. Survivors of human trafficking often struggle to access the resources and support they need to heal and rebuild their lives. In the United States, the T visa provides a way for trafficking survivors to obtain legal status, protection, and access to essential services. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the T visa application process, the critical role psychological evaluations play in strengthening these cases and the expertise offered by professionals like Claudia Ribas LCSW, in supporting trafficking survivors through this complex journey.

The T visa – also known as the T nonimmigrant status – offers a pathway to legal status for survivors of human trafficking, allowing them to remain in the United States, work legally, and access support services for up to four years. After three years, T visa recipients may be eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residency). Navigating the T visa application process can be challenging, and the assistance of compassionate and experienced professionals like Claudia Ribas LCSW – who has 30 years of experience in writing psychological reports for immigrants and providing psychotherapy – can significantly enhance the chances of approval.

A crucial component of a successful T visa application is a comprehensive psychological evaluation, documenting the emotional and psychological impact of the trafficking experience on the survivor. By working with an experienced professional like Claudia Ribas LCSW, applicants can obtain a thorough, well-prepared evaluation that substantiates their case and supports their recovery journey. In this guide, we will delve into the T visa requirements, the application process, and the benefits of working with a skilled professional to ensure the best possible outcome for human trafficking survivors.

T Visa Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a T visa, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

1. Survivor of Human Trafficking: The individual must have been a victim of severe forms of trafficking in persons, which include sex trafficking, forced labor, or involuntary servitude.

2. Physical Presence in the United States: The applicant must be physically present in the U.S., American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a U.S. port of entry due to human trafficking.

3. Cooperation with Law Enforcement: T visa applicants must be willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of their traffickers, unless they are under 18 or cannot cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma.

4. Risk of Harm: The applicant would face extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States.

Navigating the T Visa Application Process

Applying for a T visa requires several critical steps:

1. File Form I-914: To apply, the applicant must submit Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status, along with any required supporting documentation.

2. Provide a Personal Statement: The applicant should include a detailed personal statement describing their human trafficking experience, the hardship they would face if removed from the United States, and any cooperation with law enforcement.

3. Gather and Submit Supporting Evidence: To bolster their case, applicants should gather and submit additional documentation, such as police reports, court documents, medical records, and psychological evaluations.

4. Obtain Law Enforcement Declaration (if available): Though not required, a law enforcement declaration (Form I-914, Supplement B) can strengthen the applicant’s case if it is available.

Role of Psychological Evaluations in T Visa Applications

Psychological evaluations conducted by experienced professionals like Claudia Ribas LCSW, hold significant value in T visa applications. These assessments provide essential documentation of the emotional and psychological effects of the applicant’s trafficking experience, supporting their claim for relief. A comprehensive psychological evaluation typically encompasses the following components:

1. Detailed Account of Trafficking: The evaluation should include a thorough description of the trafficking experience, highlighting the types of harm endured and the impact on the applicant’s mental health.

2. Assessment of Mental Health Symptoms and Diagnoses: A professional evaluation will identify and address the emotional and psychological symptoms experienced by the applicant, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, or anxiety.

3. Coping Strategies and Treatment Recommendations: An evaluation should assess the applicant’s coping strategies and provide recommendations for therapeutic interventions to support their recovery process.

By incorporating a detailed psychological evaluation into the T visa application, survivors of human trafficking can present a stronger case, demonstrating the severity of their experiences and their need for protection and support.

Working with an Experienced Professional for T Visa Applications

Survivors of human trafficking can benefit immensely from working with compassionate and skilled professionals like Claudia Ribas LCSW. With 30 years of experience in writing psychological reports for immigrants and providing psychotherapy, she can effectively guide survivors through the T visa application process and help identify and address their ongoing psychological needs.

Additional Benefits and Resources for T Visa Recipients

Once a T visa has been granted, recipients can access vital resources and assistance to support their recovery and adjustment:

1. Employment Authorization: T visa recipients are eligible for employment authorization, allowing them to work legally in the United States.

2. Derivative T Visas: T visa holders can petition for certain immediate family members (spouses, children, parents, and unmarried siblings under 18) to receive derivative T nonimmigrant status.

3. Access to Public Benefits and Support Services: T visa recipients are eligible for federal and state benefits and services, such as healthcare, housing assistance, and education and training programs.


For survivors of human trafficking, obtaining a T visa is the first step to rebuilding a safer and more stable life in the United States. Understanding the T visa requirements, navigating the application process, and including a well-documented psychological evaluation are all critical components for making a compelling case and securing the necessary protections.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of human trafficking and requires expert assistance in preparing a T visa application or obtaining a comprehensive psychological evaluation, reach out to Claudia Ribas LCSW. With her guidance, support, and expertise, you can create a solid foundation for healing, protection, and a brighter future.