Immigration relief for immigrants experiencing domestic violence or acts of cruelty
United States immigration law provides special protection to those who have suffered the consequences of a multitude of crimes and violent acts (both physical and psychological).
Immigrants are exposed to some form of mistreatment for not speaking English, being separated from their family and friends, and not knowing the laws of the United States in depth.
Therefore, many immigrants are reluctant to report domestic violence to the police or to ask for other assistance.
Those fears often force immigrants to tolerate abusive situations.
The International Marriage Mediator Regulatory Act (IMBRA) obligates the US Government. to give boyfriends and spouses who immigrate to the country, information about their rights and about the police or domestic violence history of their boyfriends or spouses who are citizens of the United States.
One of the purposes of the IMBRA is to provide accurate information to immigrant boyfriends and spouses about the immigration process and how to ask for help if they suffer abuse.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is understood as behavior in which one of the intimate partners or spouses threatens or mistreats the other partner.
Abuse consists, for example, of physical harm, forced sex, emotional manipulation such as isolation, and intimidation and economic or immigration threats.
In domestic violence, it is more common for men to abuse women or children, but it is also sometimes the case that men are the victims.
Domestic violence consists of :
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual activity, even with your spouse.
Child abuse can be physical; any non-accidental injury, including excessive punishment; for carelessness, insufficient food, medical assistance, accommodation, surveillance, or for sexual and emotional abuse, threats; withdrawal of affection, help and guidance.
And other violent crimes:
- Domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse are always illegal in the United States.
- The law protects the entire population of the country from mistreatment; of any race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnicity, or immigration status.
- Any victim of domestic violence, of any nationality or immigration status, can ask for help.
- If you experience domestic violence in your home, you are not without protection. Ask about US laws. and know how to get the help you need.
If you are the victim of a crime, such as domestic violence or sexual assault, you have three ways to apply for immigration status for yourself and your children:
1. Self-petition of the violence against women law- VAWA
A victim of domestic violence may apply for a VAWA visa , in turn, the applicant must be legally married to the abuser.
Additionally, the assailant must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States.
If these are the conditions the victim of abuse is in, then you can apply and get a permanent residence.
2. U visas
It is also for victims of domestic violence, but the abuser must not be a citizen or resident, that is, he can be undocumented and the victim does not have to be married to him, they can be in a free union, so they can obtain the benefit of the “U” visa. “
These visas are not to automatically obtain permanent residence, the process is a start, a work permit and to live in the United States for three years and then apply for permanent residence.
3. Cancellation of an Expulsion Order According to VAWA
The abused person must demonstrate that their removal from the US would place them in a very difficult situation and must demonstrate that they have lived in the United States for at least 3 years.
Each of those immigration benefits: VAWA and VISAS U has specific requirements that must be verified.