Victims Of Violence: You Have Legal Options
Navigating through your immigration goals is already a difficult task, made even more complicated when you or your family members are victims of domestic abuse or a violent crime. If you are experiencing domestic violence or you are a victim of a violent crime, do not believe for even a moment that you are stuck in your situation. You have legal options to pursue your immigration goals. You do not have to tolerate domestic violence or continue to live in fear of deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen. You also do not have to resolve your problems all by yourself.
At Villegas Law Office, PLLC, our immigration attorney, Ana Maria Villegas, is also a licensed social worker. She provides our clients with personalized legal advocacy. She will be a strong advocate as you seek safety, independence from your abuser, or healing from the trauma of violence.
Individuals May Seek Relief Through Several Humanitarian Programs
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has several methods of assisting undocumented immigrants and those with legal permanent residency status who struggle with violence, including under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA, which also includes violence against men), nonimmigrant U- and T-visas.
If you have or had a personal relationship with the abuser, have lived with the abuser and are a victim of cruelty or battery, you may seek relief under VAWA and apply for your own green card without the abuser’s help. While there are other requirements, this may be the most practical solution for your safety and well-being.
Undocumented individuals who have experienced or witnessed violence such as felonious assault, murder, rape, involuntary servitude, kidnapping, torture, perjury, and many other crimes may file an I-918 application for a U nonimmigration status (U-visa) to remain in the U.S. legally.
As with all immigration applications, you will need to meet the qualification requirements. For a U-visa, these requirements include:
- Your own record is free of criminal convictions, fraud, or past immigration violations
- Proof of experiencing a violent crime or psychological trauma in the U.S.
- Cooperation with law enforcement’s investigation or prosecution of that crime
T-visas, obtained by filing an I-914 form, are for those who are specifically contending with human trafficking or slavery.
A Strong, Focused Legal Team Is Working Alongside You
Our team is here to provide answers about your immigration status. You can rely on our legal support to help ensure you are able to make informed decisions and take action to secure your future and safety. Call Villegas Law Office, PLLC, at 888-816-7782 or send us an email over our secure website to make arrangements for a consultation. We assist clients nationwide with their immigration matters.