Domestic Violence and the Immigration Process
Physical or emotional violence from one spouse to another can lead to great distress and trauma in the life of the victim. And if the victim is an immigrant who depends on the abusive spouse to obtain his or her residence, we are adding an element of tension to the victim and power to the victimizer.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), although not named, is also extensive for men who are victims of abuse. Because of this law, there is a possibility that a person who is a victim of physical or emotional abuse by a US citizen or Resident spouse may apply for residency without the need for the abusive spouse to participate in the process under certain circumstances and to obtain evidence To support this abuse.
In these cases, not only should the abuse be proven with documents attesting to the facts, but it should also be documented that the marriage was initiated with the aim of living a common life and in good faith, just like any other marriage. Consult with an attorney about the type of evidence that must be presented as evidence of abuse.
If the victim and abuser have already been divorced, and the divorce was as a result of physical or emotional abuse, the petition may be filed within two years of the divorce. The divorce after filing a petition of this type will not automatically deny the petition, or will revoke a petition already approved. However, remarriage before obtaining the residency will result in a denial or revocation.
If you are reading this and feel threatened or victimized by physical or emotional violence, seek help. Call the National Domestic Violence Protection Line at 1-800-799-7233, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for free throughout the United States. The attention is in English or Spanish, with access to translators in 139 languages.
If you are going through a similar situation for fear of physical aggression or emotional harm to yourself or your children, you do not have to expose yourself to it. There are ways to achieve residency without having to depend on who is harassing you. No one has to live in fear of any kind.
NOTE: For more information consult our immigration lawyers in Miami, FL (786) -347-6474; Or Charlotte, NC (704) -469-6746.