Also known as, Self-Petitioning under the Violence Against Women Act. An eligible Self-Petitioner includes conditional residents, battered spouses and children (under 21) of US Citizens or Lawful permanent residents. This form of relief is available to the aforementioned Self-Petitioners if she/he can show they have been battered or subject to extreme cruelty. The abused spouse or child can file a self-petition independently of the abusive USC/LPR spouse or parent. The immigrant spouse/child must show the following: (1) demonstrate that he or she resided with USC/LPR spouse/parent (2) was battered or subject to extreme cruelty by abuser (a) in the case of spouse self-petition, the marriage was entered into in good faith; she/he is otherwise eligible for IR or preference status; (b) has good moral character. Please note, a immigrant spouse does not need to remain married to USC/LPR abusive spouse to apply for VAWA, as long the divorce is related to the abuse suffered and within 2 years of filing your petition. Furthermore, although “woman” is included in the name of the act, it is a relief also available to men. For more information, please contact our office at 631-980-2555.
Much like U Visa, the T Visa provides immigration relief to victims of crime, such as sex trafficking or labor trafficking. A total of 5,000 visas are issued a year.
Sex Trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. Immigrant victims must show any “credible evidence” (1) he or she has been subject to “severe trafficking” such as (the use of fraud, or coercion for sex trafficking and/or involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery). It is the kidnapping or recruitment, the transporting, harboring victims with use of threats of violence or use of violence, or other forms of coercion for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. ; (2) are physically present in the United States on account of trafficking; (3) the immigrant victim must show they have complied with any reasonable request by federal, state, or local Law Enforcement Agency to assist in the investigation or prosecution due to a physical or psychological trauma; or are under 18; (4) who would “suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States.”
The U Nonimmigrant status (U Visa) is a form of relief for immigrant victims of criminal activity, who have suffered mental or physical abuse, like domestic violence and sexual assault. A total of 10,000 U Visas are issued a year. The victims are required to show proof they were (1) victims of a qualifying criminal activity (2) suffered substantial physical or mental abuse due to criminal activity (3) have information regarding the criminal activity (4) were, are, or are likely to be helpful and cooperated with law enforcement in all necessary aspects of the investigation and/or prosecution of crime The client must obtain a signed certification request so that the client may begin the U Visa petition process. (5) the crime occurred in the united State or violated U.S. laws. In addition, to the certification the immigrant victim must be able to show further proof of the crime (i.e. statement, witness statements, police reports). If you have further questions regarding this process please call our office at (631) 980-2555. For a complete list of qualifying criminal activities please click here.
Overall, Asylum is defined as a situation wherein the refugee is not merely shielded from returning to their home country (i.e. due to torture), but is also given an ample array of rights, such as the right to work and reunite with their family. All in hopes the victim can rebuild their life in a new country.
Applicant’s eligible for this form of relief are usually in one of two categories: affirmative or defensive. Defensive means the applicant is currently in removal proceedings. Affirmative means the applicant is not currently in removal proceedings but rather is mailing an asylum petition to USCIS. Asylum is particularly resource draining and difficult to win. But a successful applicant, must be able to show he or she is seeks help because they were being persecuted by government actors or private parties due to the applicant’s: (1) race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group and/or political opinion. their home country’s government or law enforcement is unable or unwilling to help them. In a case of domestic violence victim, the victim must show she was unable to escape her abuser and she was unable to obtain the help she needed. For more information, please contact our office (631) 980-2555.