In our day and age there are many relationships that cross the international divide. Oftentimes, when a U.S. citizen (USC) builds a lasting relationship with a foreign national, U.S. Immigration Law comes into play. The foreign national spouse or fiancé(e) is often brought to the United States on some form of immigrant visa which ultimately involves marriage. Although such marriages are most often entered into with the best of intentions, they don’t always last. In some severe instances the foreign spouse becomes subject to extreme cruelty, psychological and even physical abuse. It is not uncommon for a USC spouse to hold the foreign spouses immigration status over their head, as if they are a piece of property. To combat such abuses the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) was passed in 1994. Under VAWA, foreign national spouses and their children that have been subject to abuse at the hands of their USC or U.S. Permanent Resident spouse can receive immigration relief.
We were able to help a victim of such abuse. She had entered the United States after her lawful and well-intended marriage to a USC. Shortly after her arrival to the United States, her USC husband began to physically, emotionally and sexually abuse her. For months she was subjected to his abuses and threats to have her deported from the United States. Leaving such an abusive relationship is often very difficult for the foreign spouse for many reasons including: fear of removal from the United States, continued abuses, threats, lack of ties to the community and lack of resources. Our client eventually developed the courage to flee the abuse through the assistance of co-workers and friendships that she had developed. She left her abusive spouse, fleeing to a remote location where she could not be found. While there she found employment and began to rebuild her life. We were able to help her finally leave her horrific ordeal behind and eliminate all fears of removal from the United States through the attainment of permanent resident status in the United States. She is now enjoying her new found freedom!
If you or a loved one is the subject of physical abuse, physiological abuse or extreme cruelty at the hands of a USC or U.S. Permanent Resident spouse, there is relief. We are able to help you receive the necessary assistance to flee the abuses and obtain permanent immigration status in the United States.
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