Fortunately, the answer is YES. Pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), if you can demonstrate that your U.S. citizen/legal permanent resident spouse abused you and the marriage is bona fide (real), then you may self-petition for a green card.
- 男女都能按照《反對暴力侵害婦女行為法》自我申请绿卡吗? Both a male and female can self-petition for a green card under VAWA?
- 如果我已经跟配偶离婚，我还能申请吗？ If I already divorced my spouse, may I still apply?
可以， 不过一定要在两年以内申请。 而且离婚理由要与家暴相关。 就算无关，也可以在庭上申请。Yes, but you must apply within 2 years. Also, the reason for divorce needs to be related to the abuse. If the divorce is not related to the abuse, you may still qualify for battered spouse cancellation of removal.
- 如果我是非法入境的，还可以申请吗？ If I entered the United States illegally, may I still apply?
4．一定要是身体上的虐待吗？ Does the abuse have to be physical?
不一定。精神和心理上的也算。 No. Emotional/psychological abuse will suffice.
- 我一定要提出离婚吗？ 我怕他/她报复。 Do I have to file for divorce? I am afraid of possible retaliation.
不需要。 No, you do not have to file for divorce.
6．我怎么证明配偶虐待过我? How do I prove that my spouse abused me?
医生报告，心里报告，逮捕报告， 限制令申请证明，证词，等等。 Medical records, psychological evaluation report, police report, restraining order, statement/declaration, etc.
7．如果在审判期间，我再婚，会怎么样？If I remarry while my case is pending, what will happen?
I-360申请批准之前再婚，申请作废。 如果之后就没问题，能申请绿卡。If you remarry while the I-360 VAWA petition is pending, it will be denied. If remarry takes place after I-360 is approved, then no effect; you may apply for a green card.
The foregoing is general information. Every case is different so you must consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before taking further steps.
At Wilner & O’Reilly, we specialize in immigration. Our legal team includes a former immigration officer and immigration specialists certified by the State Bar of California. You are welcome to contact us for a free consultation.
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR(S)
JEANNY TSOI – ATTORNEY
Ms. Jeanny Tsoi is an Associate Attorney at Wilner & O’Reilly who handles employment-based transactional cases. She also has extensive experience with family-based immigration matters, 601/601A waivers, non-immigrant visas, and asylum applications. She is admitted to the State Bar of California, the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Tsoi graduated Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Art History. In 2012, she earned her Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern Law School where she was the Vice President of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. Ms. Tsoi is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
RICHARD M. WILNER – FOUNDING PARTNER
Richard M. Wilner is a founding member of Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC and is Board Certified by the State Bar of California as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California and before the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California, the Northern District of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.Mr. Wilner has received the coveted Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, the highest legal and ethical rating that one can receive from one’s peers in the legal community. Similarly, he has been awarded the title of Super Lawyer from 2007 to the present. He is best known for his work in advising Fortune 500 companies, middle and small market businesses, entrepreneurs and foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in athletics, arts, and sciences in the complex area of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law.