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Green Card Options for Domestic Abuse Victims
Jul 01, 2023

Green Card Options for Domestic Abuse Victims

Experiencing domestic abuse is an undeniably grueling ordeal. The fear, emotional trauma, and the immense psychological distress are magnified tenfold for immigrants, who may constantly worry about their immigration status. If you’re currently caught in the crosshairs of this tragic situation, we want to assure you – there’s hope. In this in-depth discussion, we’re going to explore how as a victim of domestic abuse, you have potential avenues to secure a green card.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

In the United States, several legal provisions are designed specifically to protect individuals who’ve fallen prey to abuse. These laws extend immigration benefits under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a legal umbrella that provides relief to victims regardless of gender. The VAWA stipulations make it feasible for victims of various forms of abuse – domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse – to independently apply for a green card.

Understanding the intricacies of the eligibility criteria for this independent green card application is critical. One must demonstrate a tangible relationship with the abuser, who is either a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). This relationship can be in the form of a marriage, as a parent, or as a child. Furthermore, it’s essential to prove cohabitation with the abuser at some stage, coupled with the requirement of being of sound moral character.

An essential aspect that provides comfort to the applicants is the confidentiality of the independent application process. This safeguard ensures that the abusive family member isn’t informed about the application. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is legally barred from divulging any information about the application to the perpetrator.

Understanding U-Visas

Yet, not everyone is eligible under VAWA. Those falling outside its ambit may consider U-visas, designed specifically for victims of certain crimes. Domestic violence is one such crime, where victims who’ve suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and have been helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity can apply. Once you’ve secured a U-visa, you may be eligible to adjust your status to a permanent resident after three years.

However, traversing these legal pathways can be incredibly overwhelming, especially for those already dealing with traumatic experiences. Hence, it’s strongly recommended to seek advice from an accomplished immigration attorney. At Villarrubia & Rosenberger, P.C., we have dealt with numerous cases and successfully assisted clients in obtaining green cards under these unique provisions. If you wish to dig deeper into this subject, our dedicated page on green cards is available here.

Contact Our Indianapolis Immigration Law Firm

It’s regrettable that many immigrants face the brunt of domestic abuse. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to remember that the law stands firmly with you. If you’ve been a victim of such abuse and require assistance to navigate the complexities of immigration law, don’t hesitate to reach out. At Villarrubia & Rosenberger, P.C., we pledge our unwavering commitment to offering empathetic, confidential, and top-notch service to help you secure your rightful place in the United States. Your safety, your dignity, and your well-being are our highest priorities, and we’re prepared to walk this journey with you, every step of the way.




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