Knowing Your Rights And Resources As An Immigrant Spouse
No one plans to find themselves in an abusive situation. When you’re an immigrant spouse, escaping a volatile marriage can be even more difficult. The fear of ramifications on your immigration status can all too often keep you trapped in an unsafe environment. It’s important to know that you are not alone. This article seeks to equip you with the knowledge and resources available to you, such as…
- The Violence Against Women Act and how it can provide you an escape route,
- The best time to seek legal counsel when your marriage is headed for destruction, and
- Why our firm is best equipped to guide you through these often painful and complicated processes.
Are There Special Cases Where Alleged Domestic Violence Is Involved And VAWA Cannot Help The Immigrant Spouse Victim?
The Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, exists to help immigrant spouses who are in domestic violence situations. However, VAWA is only able to help the victim if the victim reaches out for help. There are situations where the citizen spouse will threaten the immigrant spouse by telling them things like…
- You have no power,
- You’re reliant on me, and
- You don’t have anyone else here you can count on.
These kinds of threats can keep someone isolated, preventing them from reaching out for the help that they need and that is available to them. It exacerbates the situation and makes it worse for the immigrant spouse who is trying to leave. The perpetrator of domestic violence can then continue to impose that violence upon their immigrant spouse.
VAWA is there for them, though, and is committed to getting victims of domestic abuse out of the harmful situation and into a safe place. They will help the immigrant spouse in getting a divorce and a finding of family violence. VAWA will also get them a protective order if the severity of violence warrants it.
There is also hope for the immigrant spouse that VAWA can help them get a green card and still be able to stay here. That’s significant because the U.S. citizen spouse will often use immigration status to manipulate their victim into not leaving the situation. VAWA can help take away the power imbalance and provide a new avenue for the immigrant spouse to get their green card.
The priority must always be to keep the immigrant spouse victim safe and let them know that most of the time, these cycles of abuse continue because they are unaware. When they are unaware, it’s that much easier for their abusive spouse to present threats as facts when, in reality, that’s not true. VAWA can only help, though, when the victim reaches out to them.
Should I Be Concerned If My Spouse And I Decide To Get A Divorce After I Have Been Granted An Unconditional Marriage-Based Visa?
The likelihood that anything will happen to your unconditional marriage-based visa due to a divorce is very, very low. If, for whatever reason, there is any concern or red flag for the immigration officer, they might require more evidence that your relationship was genuine.
However, that would be unlikely as once you receive your tenure card, the only applications you have left are renewing your tenure green card or applying for citizenship. These are things you can do independently because your conditions have already been removed.
There should really be no reason that a divorce should impact the process of the immigrant spouse applying independently for citizenship. It is really just a matter of you being truthful. Sometimes, people are scared that if they tell the truth, it will negatively affect their application. In reality, it is withholding the truth that will be most damaging.
What Is The Best Time To Hire An Immigration Attorney When A Marriage Is Ending And Your Conditional Green Card Has Not Yet Been Granted?
The best time to consult an experienced immigration attorney, as well as a family law attorney, about any marital issues during the process of applying for your conditional green card is immediately. As soon as you begin thinking about leaving your marriage, you should seek counsel from your immigration attorney to determine the best possible exit strategy with the least negative impact on your process.
In some situations, your attorney may advise you to hold off on pursuing your divorce until after your green card has been granted. In other situations, especially those involving any domestic violence, they may have other resources for you, such as VAWA, which will open another avenue for you to pursue your green card while also getting out of your marriage in a safe way.
Whether a divorce would be detrimental to your immigration process is very dependent on the specific facts of both your divorce and where you are in the immigration application process. You’ll need to have these forthcoming conversations to identify the best possible course of action for you and your specific situation.
What Sets Your Firm Apart In Guiding Individuals And Former Couples Through The Non-Conditional Green Card Phase Once A Divorce Has Occurred?
One of the most notable things that sets our firm apart when dealing with immigration during and after divorce is that we do both immigration law and family law. This is a great advantage, as we understand all sides of the situation and are able to advise you on the best course of action for your situation from both the family law perspective and the immigration law perspective.
It is our goal to make sure that all of our current and potential clients – even if they don’t end up hiring us after our consultation – are equipped with the information they need to navigate these difficult and often confusing situations. We let you know what concerns there are and what we believe the best path will be to navigate any complications.
We also provide you with handouts to better inform you of what your rights are and what you can expect. We are more focused on being of service than just selling a service. You are our priority and we truly care about helping you through these processes.
For more information on the Violence Against Women Act In Immigration, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 532-5666 today.