U visas help victims of crimes enter or remain in the country when they otherwise might not be able to. T visas offer protection to victims and help law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute human trafficking.
The United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues U visas and T visas. These visas give victims of certain crimes (and sometimes their immediate relatives) temporary legal status so they can:
- Legally remain and work in the United States, usually for four years.
- Apply for lawful permanent residency status after three years.
Minneapolis certifies visas but doesn't issue them. The City provides U visa and T visa certifications, but only USCIS can issue a U visa or T visa.