Many non-U.S. citizen victims do not have legal status in the United States, and this is a powerful way the trafficker controls victims. Immigration relief is a critical tool because it provides a way for victims to feel secure and stabilize their status in the United States. Without legal status, victims may not be able to stay in the United States, or they may be limited in their access to victim assistance services. Immigration relief can help stabilize a victim without legal status.
Federal public benefits are available through Health and Human Services (HHS) for victims of a severe form of trafficking who have received certification from HHS. Minor victims (under 18) are eligible for federal public benefits through HHS immediately once they are identified as a victim, and do not need HHS certification.