“Abused spouse green card” is a popular search term on the internet. This means that there are a number of foreign nationals who are curious about the impact of domestic violence on their immigration status. Fortunately, in 1994, the United States Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to provide an immigration benefit to spouses of abusive United States citizens or lawful permanent residents. VAWA also protects men, despite the title of the law.
Eligibility for an Abused Spouse Green Card
To be eligible for an abused spouse green card, here are the requirements:
- Your spouse is a United States citizen (USC) or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR);
- You resided with the USC or LPR spouse;
- The abuse took place in the United States (exceptions apply for battered spouses of U.S. government employees and U.S. military members);
- You have been abused physically or mentally by your spouse, during your marriage;
- You entered into the marriage in good faith;
- You are a person of good moral character; and
- You are otherwise eligible for immediate relative or preference status.
The Immigration Process
Before thinking about the immigration process, you should get to a safe place, away from your abuser. Calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline, is a good place to start. You may have to move into a shelter or stay with family and friends to escape domestic violence.
The process begins with filing an I-360 petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It takes about 2 years for USCIS to make a decision on the application. There is no filing fee for the I-360 petition. You can file the VAWA case while you are still married to your abuser, however, it is important that if you get a divorce, you do not remarry before the self-petition is approved. If you do this, you will lose your eligibility and the case will be denied.
You should submit all evidence to support your case at the time of filing. You may be eligible for a work permit and a travel document, while the application is pending, if you file an I-485 Adjustment of Status application concurrently. A VAWA self-petitioner is eligible for adjustment of status, when his/her priority date is current. Battered spouses of U.S. citizens may file the I-485 application concurrently, while those who are married to LPRs should check the monthly visa bulletin for status updates on the priority date.
Abused Spouse Green Card Attorney
Cheryl Fletcher is an immigration attorney in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. In consultations with potential clients, she is frequently asked about obtaining an abused spouse green card. Many of these potential clients are without hope before coming to her but after evaluating their circumstances, Mrs. Fletcher is able build solid VAWA cases.
If you would like to get in touch with Attorney, Cheryl Fletcher , please call 561-507-5772 to get a fast consultation or fill in the contact form on the website: http://www. lawyerfletcher.com and we will call you right away.