How Family Immigration Law Can Help Domestic Violence Victims?

Video Transcript

Welcome viewers to the legal segment of Sitaarre TV, this is Shweta Khandelwal an attorney practicing in the bay area and specializing in u.s. immigration and nationality law. For those of you who have been following this segment for the last couple of weeks, you know that we’ve been discussing a lot of issues but specifically related to employment-based immigration, today we are going to digress from this and talk about some family immigration matters specifically laws relating to domestic violence and abuse in the context of immigration. A victim of abuse or domestic violence is very likely ignorant not well informed of his or her rights and may even be new to the US. A victim could be a spouse child or even a parent of an adult child. Sometimes the victim may not even be related to the person abusing him or her for example, we’ve all heard of horror stories where young naive girls are brought from India on the false pretext that their abuser shall marry them in the US, of course, this never happens. Do you know that there are immigration laws that can specifically help victims nonresident victims who have been subjected to abuse domestic violence or some form of torture? If you are a victim of abuse and you have been battered or abused or exploited in some way or the other by your immediate family members, there are laws that can protect you and can give you a green card or unknown immigrant visa like the U visa that will help you live work and stay in the US. It is not necessary that you must be physically beaten to qualify as being abused the abuse could be emotional could be mental or could even be sexual, you may be threatened or kept in confinement. All this will qualify as abuse for the purposes of the law and you may be entitled to relief in the form of a green card or a non-immigrant visa. Remember your abusive spouse or parent need not even know that you are applying for a green card for your own self, in fact, the government will not contact the person directly for any information or documents, you can apply in your own right for yourself and for your children. Your spouse or parent or the person abusing you will have no role to play in this immigration process. As I mentioned sometimes the victims are not related to the abuser so the person who is abusing the victim may not be a husband or a child or the parent of the victim in such cases also the victim though may not be eligible for a green card can still be eligible for a u-visa. Even if you’re abused spouse has divorced you the victim you can still be entitled to a green card provided the divorce was the result of the domestic violence and divorce was not more than two years before the abuse occurred. Sometimes the abuser could have lost his or her green card or permanent resident status because of the abuse even in such situations it is possible for the victim to get a green card what is important is that the victim retains a qualified immigration attorney who can review the facts and circumstances of the case and advise the victim accordingly there are a lot of nonprofit groups that offer assistance to such victims and can file your u-visa petition or your green card at a reduced cost if you qualify for aid. I hope you find these sessions useful my objective here is to educate and inform the viewers of various options that the law confers upon them. If there is any topic that you would like to discuss or any question that you have about today’s session, feel free to send me an email at and I’ll take it up in the coming episodes, see you next week.