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Humanitarian Options To Gain Legal Status And Work Authorization

Last updated on January 10, 2023

There are a number of humanitarian options for available that may lead to permanent residency or work authorization in the United States, such as T-visas for victims of human trafficking, U-visas for crime victims, VAWA self-petitions for abused spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Through thorough preparation of cases, the immigration attorneys at Larson & Lyons, LLC, have helped countless individuals secure humanitarian benefits, walking them through the complexities of the immigration law system. Humanitarian cases are the most rewarding cases for an immigration attorney, and we want to see your case succeed.

The T-Visa And Its Benefits

The T-Visa was created to give victims of labor or sex trafficking legal status in the United States. Labor and sex trafficking are both prevalent in the United States. Human trafficking occurs in any type of industry, but some industries with the highest rates of trafficking are farm workers, the construction industry, domestic workers, and the commercial sex industry.

Human trafficking can be difficult to identify, but there are some risk factors, such as:

  • Working excessive hours without overtime pay
  • Being paid less than you were promised or not at all
  • Harsh or inhumane working conditions
  • An employee is working off a debt owed to the employer
  • Threats of physical harm, deportation, reputational harm, or threats of harm to a family member.
  • Injuries suffered on the job
  • Limited access to food or water
  • Not given the proper training or safety equipment

Labor and sex trafficking come in many forms and these risk factors may not be present in every case. Each trafficking case is unique and receives the specialized attention it requires at Larson & Lyons, LLC, leading to positive outcomes for our clients.

While the T-visa is a nonimmigrant status, it leads to permanent residency. Members of your family can also obtain legal status through your application. Even more distant family members such as parents and siblings may benefit, depending on your circumstances. Furthermore, the T-visa is a great option for those clients who are inadmissible to the United States as the waiver of inadmissibility available to trafficking victims is very broad, waiving even the permanent bar for multiple illegal entries and false claims to U.S. citizenship.

Giving Survivors Of Domestic Abuse Security

In mixed-status households, domestic abuse is common. Whether you are the spouse, parent, or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may qualify to petition for legal status without your abusive relative even knowing. These petitions are confidential, and your abusive relative is never informed or questioned. For many survivors, the mistreatment they suffer is considered “normal” and not something you talk about. So, these invaluable immigration benefits are often overlooked by other immigration attorneys. At Larson & Lyons, LLC, our immigration attorneys carefully evaluate your case to determine all the immigration benefits available to you.

The majority of domestic abuse survivors also qualify to apply for permanent residency for both themselves and their children, even if they have no lawful entry and sometimes multiple illegal entries. If you receive permanent residency based on domestic abuse or cruelty, you qualify for naturalization in three (3) years, rather than wait the usual five (5) years.


A foreign national that has suffered physical or emotional harm as a result of being a victim of certain criminal activity within the United States may be eligible for a U-visa. In some cases, you do not need to have been a victim of a crime; you can still be eligible for a U-visa if you witnessed the crime and suffered some harm as a result. However, unlike the T-visa, the U-visa requires the applicant to prove they have been helpful in the criminal investigation or prosecution through a signed certification by law enforcement.

Similar to the T-visa, the waiver of inadmissibility is very broad, allowing you to obtain lawful status that would otherwise be barred. Members of your direct family also can benefit from your application. After three (3) years of holding U-visa status, you can apply for permanent residency.

Do Not Wait, Call Us Today

If you want to know if you qualify for one of these humanitarian options, schedule a case evaluation today with one of our skilled immigration attorneys. Please call us today at 937-684-8890 so that we can begin helping you, or if you are more comfortable writing to us, you may also send us an email with a description of your situation.