Foreign national minors 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 . HHS Interim Assistance and Eligibility Letters allow minors who may have or have experienced human trafficking, and meet certain eligibility rules, to apply for the same benefits and services as refugees.
If you are working with a foreign national minor (non-US citizen/legal permanent resident and currently under 18) and have concerns that they may have experienced forced labor or commercial sex at any point in their life, submit a referral through the Shepherd Case Management System Visit disclaimer page .
U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents who may have experienced trafficking do not need HHS Letters to be eligible for similar services. They can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline Visit disclaimer page (NHTH) for further assistance by calling 1-888-373-7888.
Assisting a minor?
If you are assisting a foreign national minor who may have experienced trafficking, contact OTIP Child Protection Specialists at 202-205-4582 or by email during regular business hours to ask questions regarding the process or to discuss potential cases before submission. When you are ready, use the Shepherd Case Management System to submit a Request for Assistance (RFA).
If you encounter problems loading the Shepherd Visit disclaimer page site, please use our backup PDF Request for Assistance form to submit any trafficking concerns on behalf of a foreign national minor. You can password protect and email the form to our Child Protection Specialist team at ChildTrafficking@acf.hhs.gov.
OTIP Child Protection Specialists host monthly webinars on Responding to Child Victims of Trafficking. Save the date for the next webinar.
Assisting an adult? Learn about Certification Letters.
Already received a letter?
If you or someone you know has already received an Interim Assistance or Eligibility Letter, follow the steps in the child eligibility handout. This handout is also available in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Here are more resources that can assist:
- 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 a letter from HHS.