In this interview with Michael Levites of JurisQ.com, Yakov Spektor discusses VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) and how it pertains to men and their ability to receive a green card.
Relationship abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. It can be difficult for victims to recognize and report abuse, and they may feel trapped and unable to seek help. Fortunately, legal protection is available for abuse victims, and this protection is not limited to women only. In this blog post, we will explore the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as it pertains to men, the role of immigration attorneys in helping victims obtain legal protection, and the importance of seeking assistance to break free from abusive relationships.
Emotional abuse is a form of abuse that can be difficult to define and recognize. It can include verbal abuse, isolation, manipulation, and control. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse and can have long-lasting effects on a victim’s mental health.
Victims need to recognize the signs of emotional abuse and seek help if they are experiencing it. They can obtain an order of protection under VAWA for emotional abuse, as well as physical abuse.
The Violence Against Women Act
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law that provides legal protection to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Despite its name, VAWA is not limited to women only; it applies to men and same-sex couples as well. Men and women can be victims of abuse and can obtain an order of protection prohibiting their abuser from contacting or coming near them. They can also get a green card and be allowed to remain in the United States if they are undocumented and their abuser is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, sexual violence, and stalking. This data means that millions of people may be eligible for legal protection under VAWA. Victims must understand their rights and options under this law.
- You have been or are being abused by your spouse or child who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
- You have suffered substantial physical or emotional abuse due to the abuse.
- You are still married to the abuser or have been divorced for less than 2 years.
- You are admissible to the United States or qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility.
Green Card Application Process
If you are seeking a VAWA-based green card, here are the steps involved in the application process:
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
The first step in applying for a US green card is determining your eligibility. You may be eligible for a green card based on the abuse you suffered at the hands of your spouse or child, who is a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.
Step 2: File an Immigrant Petition
It’s important to file the right petition in your case. Make sure that you review your case with an attorney to determine if you are eligible to file for your VAWA and your green card at the same time, or if the circumstances of your case are such that you may have to file them separately. Make sure that you find out if you are eligible to file for Employment Authorization and Advance Parole. Make sure you know your rights, in most cases if you are filing for an Adjustment of Status, you are also eligible to receive a work authorization.
Make sure your petition has all the required supporting documents to make your case. It is very important to consult a knowledgeable immigration attorney before filing. VAWA applications are decided based on the documents that you submit, therefore, if the documents you are submitting do not make a strong case or if you are omitting certain required things, your case might be denied and you may lose your opportunity to get a green card.
Step 3: Attend a Biometrics Appointment
After you file for adjustment of status, you will receive a notice for a biometrics appointment. At the biometrics appointment, your fingerprints, photograph, and signature will be taken for security and background check purposes.
Step 4: Follow your case online and make sure to respond to any and all Requests for Evidence that USCIS might send.
Very often in VAWA cases, USCIS may send a Request for Evidence, outlining what additional evidence they may want to see before making a decision on your case. It is very important that you respond to this request. Failure to do so may result in the denial of your application.
Step 5: Attend an Interview
If you filed for adjustment of status, you will be scheduled for an interview with a USCIS officer. The officer will ask you questions about your application and may request additional documentation. If you filed for consular processing, you would attend an interview at a US consulate or embassy in your home country.
Step 6: Receive a Decision on Your Application
After attending your interview, you will receive a decision. If your application is approved, you will receive your green card.
It is important to note that the green card application process can be complex and time-consuming and may vary depending on your specific circumstances. You should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to help you navigate the green card application process and increase your chances of success.
The Role of Immigration Attorneys
Immigration attorneys play a vital role in helping abuse victims obtain legal protection. They can assist victims with obtaining an order of protection, filing a U visa application, or adjusting their immigration status if they are eligible. It is essential for victims to seek legal assistance, as immigration laws can be complex and challenging to navigate without the help of an attorney.
According to the American Immigration Council, approximately 1.5 million people in the United States are in a family relationship with an undocumented immigrant. It means that many victims of abuse may be afraid to seek help because of their immigration status. Immigration attorneys can provide confidential and sensitive assistance to help victims obtain legal protection without fear of deportation.
Victims of abuse may feel trapped and unable to seek help, but they must understand that legal protection is available. They can seek assistance from a domestic violence hotline, an immigration attorney, or a local legal aid organization. It is also essential for victims to understand their rights under VAWA and how to obtain legal protection.
It is important to note that confidentiality and privacy are essential considerations in seeking legal assistance. Attorneys are bound by ethical rules to protect their clients’ privacy and maintain confidentiality.
Empowering Victims of Abuse
Abuse in relationships is a serious issue that affects millions of people. However, victims have legal protection available through the Violence Against Women Act and the assistance of immigration attorneys. It is essential for victims to recognize the signs of abuse, seek help, and understand their rights under the law. By breaking free from abusive relationships and obtaining legal protection, victims can begin to heal and rebuild their lives.
If you want to learn more about VAWA and its implications, you can watch the full interview on YouTube. In the interview, Yakov Spektor, an experienced immigration attorney, provides a detailed explanation of how VAWA can help victims of domestic violence to obtain legal status in the United States. You can also gain valuable insights from the interview regarding the eligibility requirements, essential considerations for male victims, and the legal process of applying for protection under the VAWA. By watching the full interview, you can deepen your understanding of the law and how it can help victims of domestic violence to improve their lives and secure their futures.
VAWA, or Violence Against Women Act, is a law that allows victims of domestic violence or spousal abuse to apply for their green cards without their spouses. It applies equally to victims of either sex — meaning abused husbands or partners who are married to U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents can file for their own petition.
It’s a complicated and tricky process, but we have handled many such cases and are very experienced in helping our clients get a green card if there was abuse in the marital relationship.
Call us at 646-859-0205 or send us a message us today. You’ll be glad you called. You’ll know what to do.