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Seeking adjustment of status after a violent crime

Before the year is over, many Florida residents will become victims of violent crimes. Sadly, some will experience violence in their own households. When a victim of violence happens to be an immigrant who may otherwise not be eligible for permanent residency, it may be possible to file an application for an adjustment of status based on his or her current circumstances.  

The U.S. government allows victims of violent crime whose immigration paperwork may not be in order to request permanent residency. The law further allows such applicants to act as self-petitioners even though the typical green card process requires a sponsor. In order to successfully obtain a U visa, as the green card issued in violent crime situations is called, the applicant must agree to cooperate with authorities in order to prosecute the person or people who committed the crime.  

Some people are afraid to speak out against an abuser. However, the law protects U visa petitioners by allowing them to remain anonymous regarding any information they provide to police or prosecutors. If a green card is granted, not only can the person remain in the United States indefinitely, but can obtain employment and even start a business.  

Knowing that living and working in the United States may be the possible outcome of a particular situation often gives a victim of violent crime the confidence to speak to authorities and to file a personal petition for an adjustment of status. Such situations can be complicated and quite stressful. To alleviate some of the burden of navigating the visa process, a Florida applicant can ask an experienced U.S. immigration law attorney to speak and act on his or her behalf.

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