U and T Visa Certifications

The federal Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 created the U Visa, which is available to immigrant victims of serious crimes, and the T Visa, which is available to victims of human trafficking.

U Visas – Victim of Serious Crimes

To obtain a U Visa, victims of qualifying crimes must demonstrate to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services their willingness to cooperate in the investigation or prosecution of the crime, among other requirements (please see https://goo.gl/S59Ij5 for a fuller explanation). Your U Visa application must be supported by a certification from a law enforcement agency, such as the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

Either you or your representative must ask that DFEH complete a U Visa certification on your behalf.

In order to complete a U Visa certification, DFEH must find that you were a victim of a certain crime, or that someone attempted, conspired, or asked (solicited) someone else to commit a crime against you.  DFEH must also find that you have been helpful or are likely to be helpful to its investigation or prosecution of your case.

Below is the list of crimes that can support a U Visa certification. The crime must have occurred in the United States, or have violated United States’ laws.

  • Abduction
  • Abusive Sexual Contact
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic Violence
  • Extortion
  • False Imprisonment
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Felonious Assault
  • Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting
  • Hostage
  • Incest
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Slave Trade
  • Stalking
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Witness Tampering
  • Unlawful Criminal Restraint
  • Other Related Crimes*†

*Includes any similar activity where the elements of the crime are substantially similar.

†Also includes attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above and other related crimes.

T Visas – Human Trafficking Victims

To obtain a T Visa, victims must demonstrate to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services their willingness to comply with a reasonable request from a law enforcement agency to cooperate in the investigation or prosecution of a human trafficking case, among other requirements (please see https://goo.gl/FDhlxG for a fuller explanation).  There is an exception to this requirement for those under the age of 18, or those who are unable to cooperate due to trauma.  USCIS strongly encourages individuals to submit a declaration from a law enforcement agency, such as DFEH, in support of their application.

Either you or your representative must ask that DFEH complete a T Visa certification on your behalf.

In order to complete a T Visa certification, DFEH must find that you are a victim of human trafficking and that you are in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to the trafficking. DFEH must also find that you have been helpful or are likely to be helpful in its investigation or civil prosecution of the trafficking, or that you are a minor or are unable to cooperate due to trauma.

How can we help?

DFEH is a law enforcement agency that can file a declaration in support of your U Visa or T Visa application. If you would like DFEH to consider supporting your U or T Visa application, then either you or your representative must make that request to a member of the DFEH staff. For more information, please see DFEH’s directive regarding U Visas: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/06/dfeh-Dir317-U-Visa.pdf.