U-Visa & T-Visa Overview

We provide U and T visa certifications for crime victims who qualify

Overview

 

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. 

See a list of crimes that qualify for a U visa

See a list of crimes that qualify for a T visa

Certification requirements

U visa requirements

You may be eligible for U visa certification if the following are true:

  • You, or your qualifying family member, have been the victim of one or more qualifying crimes.
  • You have useful information concerning the crime.
  • You have been helpful, are being helpful, or are likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity.
  • The criminal activity occurred in the United States or a territory of the United States.

T visa requirements

You may be eligible for T visa certification if the following are true:

  • You are or were a victim of a severe form of human trafficking.
  • You are in the United States or at a port of entry due to trafficking.
  • You're working with a law enforcement agency in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.
  • You can show that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States.
  • You are admissible to the United States. (If you are not admissible, you may be eligible for a waiver of certain grounds.)

Where to apply

Three Minneapolis departments can certify your application for a U visa. Only the Minneapolis Police Department can certify a T visa.

If the crime wasContact:

Reported to or investigated by the police or involves human trafficking

Police Department U visa and T visa certifications
A misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor domestic assault, stalking or witness tampering City Attorney U visa certifications
Based on discrimination Department of Civil Rights U visa certifications


Each certifying department has a primary contact person who reviews applications.

Application forms

Download and fill out an application for each person requesting certification. See the How to apply section below for more information about applying.

Download a U visa certification application

Download a T vias certification application

How to apply

When completing an application:

  • Fill out parts 1, 2 and 3 completely.
  • Leave parts 4, 5 and 6 blank. City staff will complete these.
  • Write a cover letter explaining how the victim helped, is helping or will help the police.
  • Mail the application to the address in the Contact us section below. Include a self-addressed, postage paid return envelope for any items you want returned. 

If you have questions about applying, you can email us. Please allow three business days for a response.

If the victim is in removal proceedings and needs a quick reply
  • Call or email us.
  • Add the applicant's name to the email subject line followed by the words "in removal proceedings. Please expedite.
  • Include proof of removal proceedings, such as a copy of the notice to appear.  

Certification process

Here's the process after you have filled out and submitted the application form:

  1. Department staff will review the application to make sure you sent it to the right department in the City of Minneapolis. If you sent it to the wrong department, we will return it to you with instructions on who to contact.
  2. Department staff will gather all related documentation and reach out to other City departments if necessary.
  3. If department staff cannot gather the necessary documentation, they may refer the application to another agency.
  4. Department staff will act on each certification request within 30 business days. Some cases may require more time.
  5. Each department has procedures to speed up review for people who are in removal proceedings. In these cases, they will act within seven business days, if possible.
  6. If declined, you may ask a department to reconsider its decision. You must provide additional evidence and a cover letter explaining why the department should reconsider your application. Department staff will act on these requests within 14 business days.

Learn more about the City's U and T visa program

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Giovanni Veliz

Commander
Special Crimes Investigations

Minneapolis Police Department

Office phone

612-673-5437

Cell phone

612-695-0217

Address

City Hall
350 Fifth St. S., Room 108
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Jennifer Saunders

City Attorney's Office

Phone

612-673-2701

Address

City Hall
Attn: U Visa Certification
350 Fifth St. S., Room 210
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Kaela McConnon Diarra

Department of Civil Rights

Phone

612-673-3012

Address

City Hall
Attn: U Visa Certification
350 Fifth St. S., Room 239
Minneapolis, MN 55415