In this article, we will discuss the basic requirements to obtain immigration relief for some victims of domestic violence in the United States. If you have been abused by your spouse, parent, son, or daughter you may be eligible to self-petition to obtain this immigration benefit. If you qualify, you do not have to ask for your abuser’s help or cooperation in filing this petition. That is to say, you can file this petition on your own. Even more so, the immigration agency will keep your case confidential to prevent your abuser from retaliating against you for filing this petition without their knowledge. You may be even eligible to file for your Green Card to become a Lawful Permanent Resident concurrently with your petition.
Why hire us? At Lopez Immigration, we handle immigration cases exclusively. This way we are able to keep up with the latest trends in this complex area of the law. We believe this is the only way we can offer the best possible immigration representation to our clients. We also offer competitive prices and payment plans to accommodate your financial needs. If you were one of our family members or friends, we would recommend hiring an immigration attorney to prevent unnecessary errors and delays in your application process. Contact Us Today. Here is a list of the services we can provide when filing your petition as a victim of domestic violence in the United States:
- Case analysis and long-term strategy to determine the best way to file your petition;
- Guidance as to what documents to include with your application;
- Assistance in preparing your personal statement;
- Early detection of potential hurdles;
- Criminal and Immigration history analysis to confirm eligibility;
- Response to Request for additional Information or Evidence;
- Interview Preparation;
- Attending to Interviews; and,
- Continuous monitoring.
Who qualifies for this form of relief? If you are in any of the following categories you may qualify:
- You have been the victim of abuse by your United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, and you entered your marriage in good faith;
- You are a child and have been the victim of abuse by your United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parent; or,
- You have been abused by your United States citizen son or daughter.
If you have been the victim of domestic violence in the United States, but your abuser does not have legal status in the United States you may be eligible for a U Visa. Learn more about U Visas.
What are the basic requirements to file for immigration relief as a victim of domestic abuse?
- You must be within one of the three categories of family relationships listed above;
- You must reside or have resided with the abusive relative; and,
- You must be a person of Good Moral Character.
What documents do I need to submit with my petition for immigration relief as a victim of domestic abuse? You will have to include identification documents and evidence of the qualifying
relationship to your abuser. If you are filing on the basis of your marriage to your abuser, you must submit evidence showing you were married in good faith and lived together as a married couple. You will also have to include documents showing you meet the residency requirement. This may include, medical and school records, lease agreements, utility bills, and,insurance policies. You must also include evidence of the abuse. Documents showing either physical or emotional abuse can be used to demonstrate you have been the victim of domestic violence. Reports and affidavits may be submitted. If you have an order of protection or have filed a police report in the past, you should include this as well. It goes without saying that this form of relief applies to victims regardless of their sex.
If you are older than fourteen years old, you must include a personal statement of good moral character and of how you will experience extreme hardship if removed from the United States. You must also include a local police clearance or criminal background check from all the places where you have resided for six months or more during the three years immediately preceding the filing of your petition. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website is also a great resource to learn more about this form of relief.
What happens after we submit your petition for immigration relief as a victim of domestic abuse? You will be issued a receipt and later a fingerprints appointment notice. Your fingerprints will then prompt a background check to confirm your eligibility. A Request for more Evidence or Information may be issued requesting additional documents or information in support of your application. If no such request is received, you will then have to wait until a decision is made in your case. We will continuously monitor your case to make sure it is within the normal processing time. Also, we will follow up on your case to make sure it is on the right track for a favorable decision on your behalf.
If you filed as the spouse, child, or parent of a United States citizen and were eligible to file for Adjustment of Status to obtain your Green Card, you will be scheduled for an interview with an immigration officer who will review your applications and decide your case. We will guide you throughout the application process, and prepare you in advance so that you know what to expect and which documents to bring to your immigration interview.
What are the benefits of applying for immigration relief as a victim of domestic abuse? If approved, you could be placed in deferredaction to protect you from deportation proceedings. You will also receive a work authorization. You may also be eligible to obtain a Social Security number and card, and a driver’s license. If eligible, you may be able to file for a Green Card.
In sum, you could start enjoying the following benefits:
- Authorized stay in the United States
- Work Authorization
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License
- Path to Lawful Permanent Residency
How much will this cost me? There is no government filing fee for this immigration petition. At Lopez Immigration, we offer competitive prices and payment plans to accommodate your financial needs. Call us now for a consultation.
Conclusion No one deserves to be the victim of domestic violence, and as it is often the case you probably came to the United States fleeing poor economic and safety conditions in your home country. This immigration remedy is in place to help victims of domestic abuse break from an abusive relationship without fearing being removed from the United States. If your petition is approved, you can start enjoying many important benefits as listed above. Schedule a consultation with us today. Do not risk filing an incomplete application or getting a denial for lack of a thorough analysis as to whether you are eligible to apply in the first place.