T Visa Policy Manual Updates 2021

On October 20, 2021, USCIS released the T visa section (Volume 3, Part B) of the Policy Manual, as well as Volume 9, Part O for Waivers of Inadmissibility. CAST and ASISTA collaborated to produce an advisory discussing notable highlights from the Policy Manual (hereinafter “the Manual”) for practitioners representing survivors of trafficking in their immigration matters. The advisory serves as a brief update of the changes and useful guidance now available in the new sections; it does not, however, provide a comprehensive analysis of the changes and does not replace a thorough reading of the Manual, regulations, and relevant statutes.

Overall Considerations about the Manual

  • The guidance in the Manual supersedes prior Adjudicator’s Field Manual guidance and policy memoranda relating to T nonimmigrant status.
  • The Manual provides USCIS guidance and is distinct from the T visa regulations (8 CFR § 214.11 and 8 CFR § 212.16). The Manual interprets existing regulations. Because the regulations are not finalized and are therefore subject to future revision, the Manual may be updated to reflect future regulatory changes.
  • Finalization of the T regulations are currently a priority for USCIS as reflected in the Unified Agenda.
  • The Manual includes a Case Law Reference Table that clarify some severe form of trafficking  concepts.
  • The Manual footnotes provide important context and analysis, along with statutory and case citations, and should be read along with the body text.

Remember that the advisory is current as of November 2021. USCIS may update the Manual or finalize regulations.

A complete list of our advisories can be found here