The Firm
Practice Areas
Our Team Featured Clients Firm News Contact Us

What Are the Differences Between T and U Visas?

Law Offices of Yu & Associates

U visas and T visas have some similarities:

Both visas are subject to a limited cap each year. The yearly caps remain at 10,000 for U visas and 5,000 for T visas. Both U visas and T visas allow principal applicants to apply for derivative visas for the qualifying family members. T and U visa holders along with their derivative family members can also apply for green cards if they meet the eligibility requirements. Additionally, both the U visa and T visa allow applicants to apply for a discretionary waiver of inadmissibility from USCIS using Form I-192 when the applicants have "inadmissibility" issues.

U visas and T visas do have some differences:

T visa applicants must prove they have been trafficked into the U.S. while U visa applicants need to prove they are victims of a qualifying crime, which can include human trafficking, in the United States. U visa applicants do not need to show they were recruited, forced, abducted or deceived by the criminals responsible for human trafficking. However, T visa applicants have to show they would not have been present in the U.S. if they were not trafficked into the U.S., although it is not necessary to demonstrate that the applicants knew they would be subject to human trafficking when coming to the U.S.

More importantly, U visa applicants must show substantial abuse while T visa applicants must show extreme hardship they would suffer if returned to their home country. U visa applicants must prove that they suffered "substantial physical or mental abuse" as a result of the qualifying crimes. T visa applicants do not need to prove they suffered from physical or mental abuse, but they need to show that if they are removed from the U.S., they will suffer from extreme hardship. The extreme hardship could be arising from lack of medical services, lack of protection from the government or receiving retaliation in their home country.

Another major difference is that U visa applicants are required to cooperate with law enforcement to a greater extent. The purpose of U visas is to provide support to victims of certain criminal activities. However, although T visa applicants must comply with reasonable requests to cooperate with law enforcement officials, certain T visa applicants do not need to cooperate with the law enforcement: if they are less than 18 years old or unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma.

The above is a general introduction to immigration policies, and should not be construed as individual legal advice. For specific legal questions, please contact the Law Offices of Yu & Associates. Attorney Xiaohui (Sharon) Yu is a graduate of New York University School of Law, one of the top five law schools in the US, and has practiced law at some of the top firms in the US, UK and China.

Tel: 301-838-8986, Fax: 202-595-1918; E-mail:, Address: 110 N. Washington St., Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850. (All rights reserved.)

Ó Yu & Associates LLC, 110 North Washington Street, Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. Tel: 301-838-8986