Cuevas, Garcia & Torres, P.A.
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Options for immigrants who are victims of domestic violence

Having a spouse who is a legal permanent resident or U.S. citizen in the Miami area may make it easier for you to get a family based visa. However, if you are suffering as a result of domestic violence, the struggles of living in a foreign country may make getting help seem impossible. At Cuevas, Garcia & Torres, P.A., Attorneys at Law, we are familiar with the resources in place to provide relief to immigrants who are experiencing psychological, physical or sexual abuse from a spouse.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. laws protect you from domestic violence regardless of your immigration status. Taking steps to escape an abusive home situation involving brutality or physical harm generally does not lead to deportation, unless there is evidence that your marriage is fraudulent. In fact, if you can provide evidence that you married in good faith, you may apply for a waiver allowing you to file to have the conditions removed from your residency status without your spouse. The Violence Against Women Act offers some abused spouses with the ability to file for legal status without a spouse, and a victim of a violent crime may qualify for a U-nonimmigrant status.

All spouses and children who are the victims of domestic violence in the United States have the right to escape the abuser, even if they are currently in the country on a family visa. This includes the freedom to call the police and report the violent crime. You do not have to get consent from your abusive spouse to file for divorce, and you have the right to seek custody of your children, some of the marital property and financial support. You can also apply for a restraining order, which makes it illegal for your abuser to approach or communicate with you or your children. For more information about permanent residency please visit our web page.

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