Pursuing a family-based visa like a fiance or marriage visa can be an exciting way to start a new life in a new country. It can offer new employment opportunities and a brighter future for you and your family. But for many applicants, the marriage green card process can turn into a nightmare. The I-130 application process is dependent on the petitioner spouse who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident which allows him or her to file for a U.S. green card on behalf of the foreign spouse. Sadly, abusive partners may threaten to withdraw their petition leaving the non-citizen’s immigration status and future unknown.
Before Getting A U.S. Green Card
When applying for a marriage visa from within the U.S., there is a period when you live in the country without a green card while your I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is in process. If during that time your spouse threatens to withdraw his or her petition before you have received a green card you could be in jeopardy of getting deported.
U.S. Immigration Law Is For You And Not Against You
There is a law that protects victims of abuse and that law is known as the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA).The VAWA was established in 1994 to provide a wide range of protection to women and their children who suffer from domestic abuse. Part of this protection relates to immigrants who are threatened and abused by their partners.
The VAWA permits spouses and intended spouses to get a green card without a petition of support. That means you can receive a green card, even if you got divorced before the marriage visa procedure is complete. The requirements for a VAWA are:
- You are married or intend to marry a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
- You are a person of good moral character
- You did not marry simply to evade U.S. immigration laws to obtain personal benefits or plan or any other fraudulent reason
- You were subject to battery or cruelty by the Petitioner spouse or lawful permanent resident
- You live or have lived in the U.S
- The abuse happened while in the U.S
To be positively sure about a complete list of requirements and the process for a VAWA talk to an immigration nearest your location.
What Is Deemed As Abuse
You may feel that your partner is very abusive towards you but you are not sure if you qualify for protection. Abuse, however, does not have to come with physical trauma or evidence. Any forms of abuse such as verbal, sexual or psychological could be considered as abusive behavior and could make you eligible for VAWA protections. Any proof of abuse could be key when presenting your case before an immigration judge.
If You Are Unsure Call An Immigration Attorney
Knowing what your options are can be difficult after undergoing abuse. It is at this point that you contact a very experienced immigration lawyer. Get in touch with Gambacorta Law Office at 847-443-9303 to schedule an in-person, zoom or consultation.