Domestic violence happens all over the world. For a victim of domestic violence, they often feel trap, isolated, and hopeless. This is especially true for the spouse, child, or parent of a domestic abuser who is a US citizen. There is hope. The United States may grant a green card for a battered spouse, child or parent of a US citizen.
This allows the applicant to be able to leave the abuser without the fear of being deported due to not being a legal permanent resident. Often times, it is the wife of an American citizen who is being abused. Since the wife is not a legal permanent resident yet, they feel that if they leave their husband they will be forced to return to their home country. This is a way for the spouse, and her children to no have to rely on the citizenship status of her abusive husband.
What makes this even more helpful is the fact that the victim may apply without the knowledge of the abuser thanks to the Violence Against Women Act. If approved, the victim, and the victim’s children will be granted a Green Card and Legal Permanent Residence status.
For a spouse to be eligible, he or she must meet specific requirements. First and foremost, he or she must be legally married to a US citizen who is the abuser, the marriage was terminated because of death or divorce, or the spouse lost his or her citizenship or renounced it. Even if the marriage was not legal, if the applicant believed he or she was legally married to the abusive US citizen. The applicant or the applicant’s child(s) have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen spouse. The applicant must also have entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits. Finally, the applicant must have lived with his or her spouse and be a person of good moral character.
Children also have requirement they must meet in order to qualify. The child must be a child of a U.S. citizen abuser; or be the child of a U.S. citizen who lost citizenship status due to an incident of domestic violence. The child must also have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by his or her U.S. citizen parent. Finally, the child must have resided with the abusive parent.
Finally, for a parent to qualify, he or she must be the parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age when the petition is filed; or be the parent of a U.S. citizen who lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence; or be the parent of a U.S. citizen who was at least 21 years of age and who died within two years prior to filing. Finally, the parent must have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by his or her U.S. citizen child and resided with the child.
There is also other help available for victims of domestic violence anywhere in the United States. If you need help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD). You can also visit the National Domestic Violence website.
This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice. For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.
Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (reading & writing) & speaks Azeri Turkish.
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