Travel on a T Visa

My client wants to travel on their approved T visa. Can they?

Important Update: The T Final Rule was released on April 30, 2024, updating regulations impacting T and T AOS applicants. These changes will be effective starting August 28, 2024. As a result, our resources may be temporarily out of date.

CAST is actively working on updating our trainings, advisories, and other materials to reflect the new regulations. We appreciate your patience during this transition period and encourage you to review the new regulations and our advisory, Overview of the 2024 T Visa Final Rulewhile we update our resources.

Thank you for your understanding.

--

The T visa is not a travel document allowing re-entry to the U.S. and for the reasons that follow, we generally advise against traveling until the T visa holder has been granted permanent residence.

Although a T visa holder may obtain Advance Parole to re-enter the U.S. and resume T nonimmigrant status, we generally recommend against travel abroad as it may require the assumption of unnecessary risk and re-entry is not guaranteed. For example, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may hold a T nonimmigrant at a port-of-entry or may deny the entry due to unfamiliarity with the T visa or unwaived grounds of inadmissibility.

Additionally, travel outside of the U.S. may impact a T-1 nonimmigrant's ability to adjust by undermining the applicant's extreme hardship argument or breaking their continuous physical presence. Keep in mind that at the initial T visa phase, a T-1 applicant had to prove that they would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal. At adjustment, a T-1 holder may need to re-establish extreme hardship. 8 CFR § 245.23(a)(6)(ii). Additionally, any single absence of more than 90 days will break a T-1 applicant's continuous physical presence required under 8 CFR § 245.23(a)(3).

Legal representatives should discuss these risks with T visa holders ahead of a decision to travel and should prepare clients for potential issues at re-entry before departure. Additionally, legal representatives should be sure to advise T holders that advance parole must be obtained prior to departure from the U.S. 3 USCIS-PM B.12.B.

Additional Resources: