Visa & Immigration | Bankruptcy & Anti-Discrimination Attorneys
At Sakhia Law Group, we practice & serve the client’s legal needs in the areas of:
- Bankruptcy Proceedings & Adversary Proceedings
- Discrimination & Civil Rights Violations in Workplace and elsewhere
- Business Franchise Matters for parties involved at either end of the transaction.
US CIS provides the following guidance on this subject:
Green Card for an Informant (S Nonimmigrant)
An S nonimmigrant is an individual who has assisted a law enforcement agency as a witness or informant.
A law enforcement agency may submit an application for permanent residence (a Green Card) on behalf of a witness or informant when the individual has completed the terms and conditions of his or her S classification. Only a federal or state law enforcement agency or a U.S. Attorney’s office may submit a request for permanent residence as an S nonimmigrant on behalf of a witness or informant. The requesting agency must also be the same agency that initially requested S nonimmigrant status on behalf of the individual.
Qualifying family members of the principal S nonimmigrant may also be eligible to apply for a Green Card.
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Crewmember (D) visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons working on board commercial sea vessels or international airlines in the United States, providing services required for normal operation and intending to depart the United States on the same vessel or any other vessel within 29 days. If you travel to the United States to join the vessel you will work on, in addition to a crewmember (D) visa, you also need a transit (C-1) visa or a combination C-1/D visa.
Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status
T nonimmigrant status is a temporary immigration benefit that enables certain victims of a severe form of human trafficking to remain in the United States for up to 4 years if they have assisted law enforcement in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking. T nonimmigrant status is also available for certain qualifying family members of trafficking victims. T nonimmigrants are eligible for employment authorization and certain federal and state benefits and services. T nonimmigrants who qualify may also be able to adjust their status and become lawful permanent residents (obtain a Green Card).
Congress created this status (commonly referred to as a T visa) in October 2000 as part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a form of modern-day slavery in which traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to compel individuals to provide labor or services, including commercial sex. Traffickers often take advantage of vulnerable individuals, including those lacking lawful immigration status. T visas offer protection to victims and strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute human trafficking.
Under federal law, a “severe form of trafficking” is:
- Sex trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides, solicits, patronizes, or obtains a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, where the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or the person being induced to perform such act is under 18 years of age; or
- Labor trafficking: When someone recruits, harbors, transports, provides or obtains a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Green Card Through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The DV Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
Most lottery winners reside outside the United States and immigrate through consular processing and issuance of an immigrant visa. To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of State’s website.
Diversity Visa Winners Legally Residing In the United States: Apply Through USCIS
There are, however, a small number of lottery winners each year who, at the time of “winning the lottery,” are residing in the United States in a nonimmigrant or other legal status. For these winners residing inside the United States, USCIS processes adjustment of status applications.