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Victims of Domestic Violence May Have Immigration Rights 

 Posted on October 24, 2022 in Immigration

orlando immigration lawyerDomestic violence is a serious crime that leaves its victims with very few options for relief, especially if the victim has an uncertain immigration status, is in the U.S. without authorization, or does not speak English well. Immigrants may be particularly vulnerable to abuse because abusers may prey on their immigration status to keep them from reporting the abuse. Fortunately, the government recognizes the seriousness of this problem and offers victims of domestic violence solutions that may allow them to escape the abuse. 

What Can I Do if I Am an Immigrant Suffering From Domestic Violence? 

The first option you may have available to you is the removal of conditions of residency. If you are married to an American citizen, you will be granted a conditional Green Card for at least two years, and you will have to petition with your spouse to get the residency conditions removed. If your spouse is domestically abusing you, however, you can apply to have the residency conditions removed by yourself. Note that there are several kinds of abuse that may qualify you for removal of conditions of residency. If your spouse threatens to take away your residency, will not help you petition for removal of conditions, emotionally abuses you, or physically abuses you, these may all qualify to allow you to self-petition on your own. 

If you are a woman, you may also be eligible under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This allows immigrants who are related to an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident but who do not have a Green Card to file for one without the help of the abusive individual. You will have to meet the following conditions: 

  • Have a good moral character
  • Have been the victim of extreme cruelty or physical abuse
  • Currently live or have lived with the abusive citizen or permanent resident
  • Currently have or had a qualifying relationship (such as a spouse or child) with the abusive person 

The final option that may be available to you is a U Nonimmigrant visa, which is available to victims of domestic violence and other crimes who help the police investigate or prosecute a crime. Once you have a U-visa, you may be able to work and even get a Green Card after several years. 

Contact an Orange County Immigration Lawyer Now

If you are an immigrant or you know someone who is suffering from an act of domestic violence, you may be able to get relief and apply for a visa. Schedule a free consultation with an Orlando, FL immigration lawyer today and learn more about your options. Call Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC at 407-955-5000. Hablamos español. 




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