Foreign national adults in the United States who have been subjected to a severe form of trafficking in persons are eligible for certain benefits and services under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act Visit disclaimer page . Certification Letters let individuals who have experienced trafficking and meet certain eligibility rules apply for the same benefits and services as refugees.
U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents who have experienced trafficking do not need Certification or Eligibility Letters to be eligible for similar services. You can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline Visit disclaimer page for further assistance.
Assisting an adult?
We issue Certification Letters to foreign national adults who have experienced trafficking after receiving notice from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granting a person Continued Presence (PDF) Visit disclaimer page , or a T visa Visit disclaimer page , or that a bona fide T visa application Visit disclaimer page has not been denied.*
When you are ready, use the Shepherd Case Management System to submit a Request for Certification (RFC). You can use the RFC to securely initiate a comprehensive case management referral and/or a Certification Letter. Contact us by email or 866-401-5510 with any questions about the Certification process.
*A bona fide T visa application is different from an application receipt from USCIS/DHS. A bona fide T visa application is a formal notice from USCIS/DHS that the application has been through initial review and was found to be complete, properly filed, contains proper evidence, and is clear of fraud. An application receipt from USCIS/DHS does not make an individual eligible. A foreign national adult must have Continued Presence, a T Visa, or a bona fide T Visa application to request an HHS Certification letter. Learn more about bona fide determinations on the USCIS website Visit disclaimer page .
To learn more about the Adult Certification process, view the video below:
Assisting a minor? Learn about Eligibility Letters.
Already received a letter?
If you or someone you know has already received a Certification Letter, follow the steps in the adult certification handout (PDF). This handout is also available in Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Thai.
- Trafficking Victim Assistance Program grantees can provide case management services to assist foreign nationals with HHS certification and enrollment in benefits.
- ORR State Refugee Coordinators can help navigate state-specific benefits questions.
- The National Human Trafficking Hotline Visit disclaimer page is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for technical assistance and service referrals. Call 1-888-373-7888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family members of individuals who have experienced trafficking that have their own derivative T visas (T-2 through T-6) are immediately eligible for benefits and services to the same extent as refugees. They do not need any letter from HHS.