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Help for Immigrant Crime Victims

Protections and Services for Victims

Immigrant victims of crime may be entitled to humanitarian visas. If the crime has a nexus to their employment, the New York State Department of Labor may be able to issue a certification to support their visa application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

U Visas

The U visa provides immigration status for victims of certain serious crimes, who have suffered substantial physical or mental harm, and are helpful to law enforcement, including the NYS DOL, in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The U Visa was created to encourage immigrants who may be wary of interacting with law enforcement to come forward and report when they have been a victim of a crime.

U Visa eligibility criteria can be found on the USCIS website U Visa page. An applicant must submit a certification form from a law enforcement agency establishing that they “ were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime” (exceptions exist if the applicant is under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability). If you were the victim of an employment–related qualifying crime in New York State within the last six years, and have or will file a claim for a violation of labor law with the department, you may be eligible for a certification from the New York State Department of Labor. You, or your representative, should contact the Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs at 877-466-9757 or E-mail trafficking@labor.ny.gov.

Please note that while the Department can issue U visa certifications, the entire application must then be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who will determine whether or not to approve the application and grant immigration status.

T Visas

The T visa provides immigration status to victims of severe forms of human trafficking that assist law enforcement in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of human trafficking cases. A law enforcement declaration is not required in a T visa application, however it is considered very helpful as evidence of a victim's cooperation.

As with U Visas, while the Department can issue T visa endorsements, the entire application must then be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who will determine whether or not to approve the application and grant immigration status.

For questions about T visa endorsements call the Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs at 877-466-9757 or E-mail trafficking@labor.ny.gov.

 

Awareness and Prevention

To report labor trafficking, request U visa certifications or T visa endorsements, or schedule a Human Trafficking awareness presentation, please call the Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs at 877-466-9757 or E-mail trafficking@labor.ny.gov.

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