Humanitarian Immigration Relief And Violence Against Women
At Schwartz Posel Immigration Law Group, our immigration attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience. From our office in Atlanta, we help clients all over the world. Immigration lawyer Rachel Binstock focuses her practice on humanitarian immigration relief law, and assisting clients with green card applications and visas under the Violence Against Women Act, U Visas, and T Visas. If you have been a victim of violence, you may be eligible for a green card.
Getting A Green Card Under The VAWA (Violence Against Women Act)
In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which created a special path toward a green card or immigrant visa for victims of abuse. In order to be eligible for a VAWA Green Card, you must meet the following requirements:
- Your abuser is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- You are the spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen of lawful permanent resident
- Domestic violence or abuse occurred during the relationship
- You lived with the abuser at some point
- You must live in the United States, the abuse occurred in the United States, or you live abroad, and your abuser is a member of the U.S. armed forces or a U.S. government employee
- You entered into the relationship in good faith
- You are a person of good moral character
It is important to note that despite its name, the VAWA applies equally to men who have been abused. In addition, domestic violence or abuse can include physical, sexual, emotional, financial, or psychological abuse. It can also include intimidation or isolation.
Filing A Self-Petition Under The VAWA
Under the typical application process for legal status, if you are the parent, child, or spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States, that citizen or lawful resident must sponsor and/or file a petition for citizenship or legal status on your behalf. Under the VAWA, victims of abuse do not need to rely on their abuser to get legal status. In effect, under the VAWA, victims of abuse do not need the control or participation of their abuser because they are eligible for self-petition.
A Cancellation Of Removal Under The VAWA
If removal proceedings for the deportation process have already begun, you may be eligible under the VAWA for a Cancellation of Removal. Under a Cancellation of Removal under the VAWA, you may also apply for legal permanent status and a green card.
Legal Assistance For Victims Of Violence
In the alternative, victims of violence may also be eligible for temporary immigration relief under two types of nonimmigrant visas. A U Visa offers temporary legal status to victims of criminal activity, who have suffered mental or physical abuse and may have information concerning that criminal activity that is helpful for government officials and/or law enforcement. A T Visa offers temporary legal status to victims of human trafficking crimes who assist government officials and/or law enforcement with the investigation and/or prosecution of trafficking crimes.
Children who have been neglected, abandoned, or abused may also be eligible for lawful permanent residence under classification as a Special Immigrant Juvenile status. The immigration lawyers at Schwartz Posel Immigration Law Group understand the nuances between the different immigration laws and our humanitarian relief attorney, Rachel Binstock, can advise you on the best path forward based on your specific circumstances.
Are You A Victim Of Violence? Call Today For Immigration Assistance.
Our immigration attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you with any of your immigration questions and needs. If you are a noncitizen who is a victim of violence, there is hope, and we can help. Call us today at Schwartz Posel Immigration Law Group or send us an email through our website to schedule your initial consultation. We want to help you understand your options.