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Many people dream about living in the United States for many reasons, whether they wish to try and achieve the American dream or they want to be closer to family. However, some may find that when they live in the United States with their spouse, it can turn into a nightmare if they are subjected to violence at the hands of their spouse. In these instances, victims may file a battered spouse petition with the help of a VAWA & U visa lawyer in New York City. Keep reading to learn more about this option and why you should connect with an attorney as soon as possible to explore your legal options.

What Is a Battered Spouse Petition?

A battered spouse petition is a legal protection offered to victims of abuse under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which helps those enduring domestic abuse petition for a green card by themselves. Generally, when you marry a United States citizen, you have a conditional green card for two years. After these two years have elapsed, you can file to have this condition removed so you have a full green card. However, your spouse must also agree to have this removed.

When you are a victim of violence, your spouse may not file the joint petition as a means of further exercising control over you. As such, you can file a battered spouse petition, which will waive the requirement that your spouse must jointly file with you. Thus, you can have the condition removed from your residency status without your spouse.

Who Is Eligible?

To receive a battered spouse waiver, you must meet the eligibility requirements. Generally, this means that you must prove the marriage was entered in good faith and that you were subjected to cruelty at the hands of the US citizen or lawful permanent resident you were married to. This includes rape, trafficking, violence, mental and emotional abuse, or forcible detention.

How Can an Experienced Immigration Attorney Help Me?

Filing a battered spouse petition can be a complex process, especially because you must prove the abuse you went through, which can be difficult for many victims. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible. You must apply for this waiver before your conditional permanent residence expires, typically starting 90 days before the expiration date.

Because this can be complex, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced immigration attorney. They can help guide you through this process to gather evidence and prove that your marriage was made in good faith to help you fight to qualify for this requirement waiver.

When you need assistance, the Law Office of Jason A. Dennis is here to help. We understand how complex immigration matters can be. However, victims of abuse have even more considerations to make, rendering this process even more overwhelming. That’s why our dedicated legal team is here to help you through these challenging times. Connect with us today to learn how we will fight for you.