The Immigration and Nationality Act contains provisions which allow spouses and children of U.S. citizens (USC) or lawful permanent residents (LPR), who are the victims of abuse and / or extreme cruelty, to file a visa petition on their own behalf.
Self-petitioners must meet the following requirements:
- Is a Spouse of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States;
- Is eligible for immigrant classification under section 201(b)(2)(A)(i) or 203(a)(2)(A) of the Act based on that relationship;
- Is residing in the United States;
- Has resided in the United States with the citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse
- Has been battered by, or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by, the citizen or lawful permanent resident during the marriage; or is the parent of a child who has been battered by, or has been the subject of extreme cruelty
- perpetrated by, the citizen or lawful permanent resident during the marriage;
- Is a person of good moral character;
- Is a person whose deportation would result in extreme hardship to himself, herself, or his or her child; and
- Entered into the marriage to the citizen or lawful permanent resident in good faith.
Applicants whose self-petition is based on abuse endured during a marriage to a U.S. citizen are immediately eligible to apply for adjustment of status. Work authorization may then be obtained based on the pending application to adjust status. Applicants with approved petitions who are subject to wait based on the visa quota system may applied for deferred action. Once deferred action has been granted, work authorization may be obtained based on the deferred action status.
Other Relief for Victims of Abuse
Conditional residents and former conditional residents who have not departed the U.S. may apply for a removal of conditions on residency and a waiver of the joint filing requirement if they can show that their marriage was in good faith and that during the marriage they were a victim of abuse or extreme cruelty.
Victims of a crime who have suffered physical or mental abuse and who have helpful information which they are providing to assist a law enforcement official may apply for a nonimmigrant U visa.
Certain victims of crimes of trafficking may be eligible for a T visa.
How can Bromberg, Kohler Maya & Maschler, PLLC help you?
Bromberg, Kohler Maya & Maschler, PLLC has represented many clients in cases involving the Violence Against Women Act and other provisions for victims of violence. Our staff understands the sensitive nature of these cases and is committed to the client’s comfort and confidentiality. If you have been the victim of abuse by a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident and would like to find out more about self-petitioning options or other available immigrant benefits, please contact us.
The content of this website is meant only to acquaint you with general information about immigration.This information is not legal advice and is not a substitute for having a consultation with an attorney. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us.