Jesse J. Bañuelos, a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney
GREEN CARDS FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
VAWA [“Violence Against Women Act”] allows an abused spouse/child of a US citizen [USC]/lawful permanent resident, or an abused parent of an adult USC child to self-petition for lawful permanent status (a green card) in the US.
BENEFITS AVAILABLE UNDER THIS PROGRAM
- a work permit while the petition for this program is pending;
- protection from deportation or removal and permission to live in the US while the petition is pending;
- free medical care and government benefits, such as Cal Works, and foods stamps, while the petition is pending; and
- eventually, a green card without the help of the abusive spouse/parent, or USC son/daughter.
REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE MET TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROGRAM
1. You must be living in the US at the present time, except under certain circumstances;
2. You have lived with your spouse for some time whether in, or outside the US;
3. Your spouse has abused you, and/or your minor [under 18 years old] children during the marriage;
4. Your spouse is a US citizen, or a green card holder. If your spouse was a green card holder, but was deported because he/she abused you and/or your children, you and/your children may still be eligible for this program. If you recently divorced your spouse because he/she was abusing you an/or your children, you and/or your children may still qualify for this program;
5. Your marriage to your spouse was for love, and not because you wanted to get a green card;
6. The abuse by a spouse can take many forms. Does your spouse?
a). threaten to beat you or your children or terrorize you or your children?
b). hit, punch, slap, kick, push, or hurt you or your children in any way?
c). emotionally abuse you, such as insult you or your children at home or in public?
d). force you to have sex when you do not want to?
e). threaten to take your children away or hurt them?
f). threaten to deport you or turn you and/or your children into the INS? and
g). control where you go, what you can do, and whom you can see?
If your answer to at least one of these questions was “yes”, you and/or your children have been victims of abuse, you could qualify for this program.
1. The minor children of an abused spouse can be included in a petition for benefits under this program, whether or not they have been abused, or the children can apply on their own, if they have been abused as well; and
2. A parent who has been abused by their adult, USC children can also qualify for benefits under this program.
TO FILE A PETITION FOR BENEFITS UNDER THIS PROGRAM, YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY
Applying for benefits under this program is a very complicated process. That’s why if you believe that you qualify for a green card as a victim of domestic violence, and you wish to apply for such benefit, you will need the help of an experienced immigration attorney, such as Mr. Bañuelos. Because he is hardworking and tenacious, Mr. Bañuelos has been successfully resolving difficult immigration problems, and has been winning difficult deportation and removal cases for over 20 years.