The Department of Homeland Security’s Interactive Infographic on Protections for Immigrant Victims

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an infographic detailing the protections afforded to immigrant victims. This interactive infographic describes qualifications and benefits for each form of immigration relief designed to help immigrant victims.  When you click on each form of relief, a link takes you to a DHS webpage with further information, brochures and applications forms.  We strongly recommend this tool to be used and disseminated by the following professionals, to help inform immigrant victims of their rights and available protections:

  • Law enforcement—this information should be available in police stations and in police cruisers to assist law enforcement officers in identifying victims eligible for immigration protections and informing victims about legal protections available to them
  • Courts—this information should be available as one of the standard forms of legal information available to the public at courthouses and in clerks offices across the country
  • Victim Advocates and Attorneys—this information will be useful for screening, providing information to clients, and identifying the forms of immigration relief and benefits an immigrant victim may be eligible to receive
  • Healthcare and mental health care providers and social workers—this infographic will help healthcare providers identify victims whom they treat who are eligible for immigration protections

Directory of Service Providers: Once an immigrant victim who potentially qualifies for one of the forms of immigration relief described in the infographic, victims should be referred to agencies in the state or local community that have expertise working with immigrant survivors.  A directory of programs serving immigrant victims in your state is available at http://www.niwap.org/directory/

Action Needed: Currently this infographic is available only in English and NIWAP is seeking your help to translate the DHS infographic into as many languages as possible. If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering to translate, please contact us at info@niwap.org.  

More Information for Immigrant Victims Published by DHS: NIWAP has compiled all of the DHS forms and informational material published by DHS that the infographic links to on VAWA Self-Petitioning, U Visa, T Visa, Continued Presence and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status below.  For asylum we have include below the link to DHS resources on asylum. Please access this information below:

VAWA Self Petition—For victims of battering or extreme cruelty (domestic violence or child abuse) perpetrated by their U.S. citizen or permanent residents spouse, parent or step parent. Relief is also available to victims of battering or extreme cruelty perpetrated by their U.S. citizen over 21 year old son or daughter.  DHS website: Battered Spouse, Child and Parents

  • If approved, benefit provides: Protection from removal, work authorization, ability to apply for lawful permanent residency status.
  • Filing Process:
  • Additional Resources:
    • Immigration Options for Victims of Crimes: This brochure provides information for law enforcement, health providers, and others about eligibility for VAWA self-petitioner, U nonimmigrant, or T nonimmigrant status.
    • Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts About Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa: This know your rights pamphlet explains what constitutes domestic violence in the United States, the legal rights of victims, services available to help victims, immigration relief for immigrant victims, the marriage based visa process, and the U.S. government’s responsibilities to provide information to foreign fiancées and spouses about their legal rights. The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) requires that the U.S. Government provide foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses immigrating to the United States information about their legal rights as well as criminal or domestic violence histories of their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)s and spouses.
    • Domestic Violence and the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act: This brochure provides information regarding the regulation of international marriage brokers and disclosure requirements. International marriage broker requirements include providing foreign nationals with the results of sex offender website searches, criminal background information on U.S. clients, and information about domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse and the legal rights of immigrant victims of these crimes.  The brochure also provides information on how to discern an international marriage broker’s involvement in domestic violence cases.

U Visa—For victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, felonious assault, trafficking, other serious crimes occurring in the U.S. or violating U.S. laws.  Victims must obtain a certification from a government official (e.g. law enforcement, prosecutor, judge,  magistrate, commissioner, child or adult protective services, EEOC, federal or state departments of labor, FBI, ATF).  Provides up to four years of temporary visa, work authorization, ability to apply for lawful permanent status.  DHS websites on the U visa: Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes and Victims of Criminal Activity: U Nonimmigrant Status

  • Filing Process:
  • Additional Resources:
    • U and T Visa Law Enforcement Resource Guide DHS published resource guide for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and other certifying officials.  This guide explains the role of certifying agencies in the U and T certification and application process.  This guide addresses concerns, answers common questions, and provides accurate information on signing I-918B and I-914B forms for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and other government agencies qualified to sign U visa certifications such as the EEOC, federal and state labor departments, adult and child protective services, and any other eligible agencies that have criminal, civil, or administrative investigative or prosecutorial authority. The guide provides information on what U and T visas are, discusses U visa qualifying criminal activities and severe forms of trafficking in persons, explains the standard for “helpfulness” and “reasonable request for assistance”, and has many more important tips and information about the U and T visa.
    • Department of Homeland Security Policy Memorandum: Extension of Status for T and U Nonimmigrant: The Department of Homeland Security issued this policy memorandum to provide guidance about extensions of status for T and U nonimmigrants, including any related applications for adjustment of status.
    • Immigration Options for Victims of Crimes: This brochure provides information for law enforcement, health providers, and others about eligibility for VAWA self-petitioner, U nonimmigrant, or T nonimmigrant status.
    • Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: FGM/C is one of the U visa listed criminal activities. This brochure provides information clarifying the criminal consequences for performing FGM/C on a minor, attempting to send her outside the United States for FGM/C to be performed, or performing FGM/C on a woman over the age of 18 without consent. In addition, it details the immigration consequences to performing or assisting in FGM/C, and that immigration relief may be available for those that have undergone FGM/C or are at risk of undergoing FGM/C. The DHS Web page on FGM/C: Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C)

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status—For immigrant children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by one or more of their parents. To apply the child must obtain a state family court order. If the case is approved the immigrant child receives protection from removal, work authorization, and an ability to apply for permanent resident status. DHS Website on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ) Status

T Visa—For victims of severe forms of human trafficking who are in the U.S. on account of the trafficking.  Certification from a government official law enforcement (e.g. law enforcement, prosecutor, judge,  magistrate, commissioner, child or adult protective services, EEOC, federal or state departments of labor, FBI, ATF)is encouraged but not required.  If a T Visa is approved the trafficking victim receives up to four years of temporary T visa status; work authorization; federal social services and benefits; and an ability to apply for lawful permanent status.  DHS Websites on T Visas: Victims of Human Trafficking & Other Crimes and Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status

Continued Presence—For Victims of severe forms of human trafficking and who may be potential witnesses, or filed a civil action.  Law enforcement support is required and law enforcement officials must file the application for a trafficking victim to be granted continued presence.  If approved the trafficking victims receives protection from removal that may be  granted initially for a period of 2 years and renewed in increments of up to 2 years, work authorization, access to federal social services and public benefits.  DHS website on continued presence: Continued Presence: Temporary Immigration Status for Victims of Human Trafficking

  • Additional Resources:
    • Continued Presence: This brochure provides information regarding temporary immigration status for victims of human trafficking.

Asylum—For Victims of Persecution. Victims must fear persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in particular social group.  If approved, benefit provides: Asylee status, work authorization, federal social services and public benefits, and ability to apply for permanent resident status. DHS Website on Asylum