Human Trafficking Victim From Ecuador Granted T Visa

November 27, 2018

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented Ms. S, a dual citizen of Ecuador and Spain, in her application for T Nonimmigrant Status (T Visa).

T Visas are available to those who are or have been victims of human trafficking and have assisted in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.

In January 2015, Ms. S came to the United States from Ecuador and was offered a job at a restaurant in Queens, New York. Unfortunately, Ms. S was preyed upon by her employers who exploited her vulnerabilities, including her desperate need for work, lack of immigration status, and inability to speak English. Within weeks, these employers subjected Ms. S to forced labor. They first used fraud and coercion, and ultimately escalated their tactics to physical and sexual violence, culminating in a brutal rape.

Ms. S reported her trafficking and cooperated in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. Cleary filed Ms. S’s T Visa application in March 2017, which was granted on October 31, 2018. Ms. S is now able to live and work legally in the U.S. and will be eligible to apply for adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident. She will also eventually be able to apply for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen. The client’s case was referred to Cleary by Sanctuary for Families, which provided support throughout the process.