Abusive Spouses, VAWA, and Your Greencard
On the one hand you want to continue to legally stay in the U.S. since you have already invested so much time and effort in building a career and support network in this country; while on the other hand, you have an abusive spouse and you realize that divorcing him/her may jeopardize your ability to get a Green Card. So is there any relief available? Fortunately there is.
If you have an abusive spouse you may qualify for a Green Card nonetheless through the means of Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA). Don’t let the name of the act throw you off; this relief is available to men as well. There is another frequent misconception that VAWA is only available for physical abuse. While there might be more obstacles to prove mental abuse, VAWA relief is definitely available if you have suffered emotional/mental abuse.
Now that we know that VAWA is available to both men and women and the relief can be sought for mental and physical abuse, I’m sure you’re thinking, “How do I prove it?” So let’s briefly look at a few requirements:
- You need to prove that you resided together with the abuser in the United States.
- Make sure you have tucked away the marriage and/or divorce decree safely away.
- If you are suffering mental abuse, make sure you go and talk to a psychologist/psychiatrist. They are the experts and they will be able to help you cope in your difficult times. Plus a report from a psychologist or psychiatrist is important in establishing that you have been mentally abused.
- Do not delete any email/mail/texts/voicemail from the abuser.
- You need to prove that you married the abuser in good faith.
Being in a constantly abusive relationship is hard. Getting out of such a relationship and being able to continue to live with your loved ones should be easy but applications always have certain procedures and evidences need to be produced to prove that your are eligible for VAWA. Furthermore, the abuse faced by each individual is unique so an attorney might be in the best position to evaluate what documents might constitute a strong evidence to make you eligible for VAWA.
We at the Law Firm of Moumita Rahman have dedicated attorneys and staff who understand the importance of VAWA petitions and are here to make this process the least burdensome on you.