If you are being abused by your U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident ("green card") Spouse or Parent, or Child (over 21)
Or your child is being abused by his or her U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident ("green card") Parent
And you are undocumented or without legal immigration status, there are immigration laws which can help you escape violence and get legal immigration status. If these immigration laws apply to you, you can get legal status without help from your battering spouse or parent.
- What do I have to show to petition for myself?
- What if I am in deportation or removal proceedings?
- What if my battering spouse is not a U.S. citizen, or if I was never married to my batterer?
- What if I have a conditional or temporary green card?
- What kind of evidence will I need?
- What not to do
- What to do
- If you are in need of support, resources, and a safe place for yourself and your children
- If you are a battered immigrant woman or child who does not have a green card or who has a conditional or temporary green card
- You have been battered or suffered severe emotional abuse by your U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse parent, child; or that your child suffered battering or abuse by his or her U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parent;
- You married your spouse in good faith, not to get immigration papers;
- You lived with your spouse in the U.S. (You do not need to be living with your spouse when you file your papers; and you may file even if you are divorced, if you file within two years of the divorce. and
- You are a person of "good moral character".
(Examples of "good moral character" are listed in the Evidence section of this brochure.).
You can self-petition or apply for "cancellation of removal." You can be granted cancellation of removal even if you are divorced from your battering spouse when you apply. To qualify for cancellation of removal, you have to show:
- You must show the same things you need to show for the self-petition, and
- That you have been in the United States for at least three continuous years.
There may be other ways for you to get legal status. You should call a legal services office or an attorney and ask about the U Visa. The U Visa is for the victim of a crime who has been helpful, is being helpful, or will be helpful in the prosecution of a crime.
You should not go to the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS - formerly the INS) alone, even to ask for information. If you receive a notice to go to CIS for an interview or a hearing, speak to an advocate or attorney immediately.
Call SafeLink a 24-hour Hotline at 1-877-785-2020.
(Safelink is a project of Boston's Casa Myrna Vasquez, Inc)
If you are a battered immigrant woman or child who does not have a green card or who has a conditional or temporary green card:
Call the Battered Immigrant Women's Project at:
Community Legal Services And Counseling Center (CLSACC)
One West Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
Greater Boston Legal Services