U-Visas and Violence Against Women Act Petitions
Under the Violence Against Women Act, immigrants who are abused by a spouse are entitled to certain immigration benefits and protections. Although the protection falls under VAWA, men as well as women are eligible if they suffered abuse at the hands of their spouse. To qualify, the spouse must either be a legal permanent resident or a U.S. citizen and you must have entered your marriage on good faith (i.e. love). The abuse suffered may be physical, mental or emotional but it must be well documented which can be difficult in these cases.
Individuals who were victims of certain crimes may be eligible for temporary legal status and work permission for four years. In order to qualify, the individual must have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to a serious crime that occurred in the United States. Furthermore, that individual must have assisted government officials with the investigation or prosecution of the individual(s) who committed the crime. This requires a certification on the part of a law enforcement agency. Without such certification, the U visa petition cannot be submitted.
Lesley, our experienced immigration attorney, understands that those who have suffered abuse or were victims of a crime must be treated with a high level of sensitivity. She has worked with many such individuals – providing them not only with legal support but also sympathy during this difficult process.
For further information or questions please call 703-596-0235 or send us an email at hainerporras.com, to schedule a consultation in our Alexandria, Virginia office. Lesley, our immigration attorney, can help clients in Virginia, Maryland, and DC – or any other state – because immigration is a federal matter.
For further information or questions please schedule a consultation in our Alexandria, Virginia office.