A U-Visa is a nonimmigrant status visa for undocumented victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Congress created the U-Visa program in 2000. It is intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of immigrants and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. Undocumented victims submit a request for a U-Visa certification of helpfulness from the local law enforcement agency, which determines whether the victim qualifies for certification. If the request is certified, it is then submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for consideration. Certification for a U-Visa DOES NOT guarantee the granting of the visa. Federal law caps the number of U-Visas that can be issued nationwide per year. For more information about this program and to apply with the Denver District Attorney’s Office, click here for the U Visa Cert Protocol.