Get Green Card on Your Own! You Dont Need Abusive Spouse!
Victims of spousal abuse often face a very serious two-fold problem: bad marriage and fear of not getting the green card. It forces lot of people to stay in the marriage, without the free will.
Often what happens is that United States Citizen gets married and the foreign national spouse files for permanent resident status. While the application is still pending, the spousal abuse starts. Abuse can be physical (hitting, beating, etc.) or it could be mental (verbal, non-verbal, etc.). The foreign national spouse has to either “put up” or “get out of the marriage”.
If foreign national wants to get out, here is the dilemma. Under the law, permanent resident status, based on marriage petition, is only granted after an interview at which both the spouses have to be physically present. Similarly, after the first grant of permanent resident status, status is issued conditionally for two years only, and removal of such conditional status requires filing of “joint petition”.
The law rescues victims of such domestic abuse by allowing him or her to file a petition on their own, or self-petition, if he or she meets certain legal requirements. the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is an important piece of legislation that provides the ability for victims of domestic abuse to self-petition for permanent residence, removal of conditions on permanent residence, or naturalization. The requirements primarily are: entering the marriage in good-faith and abuse by the United States Citizen. The abuse has to be properly documented, for example, in the case of physical abuse, there should be either documentary proof (police report) or witness. Mental abuse is difficult to prove but it has to be constant and serious and best way to document is by way of psychological evaluation.