Many people come to the United States through family immigration to be with a spouse. Maybe the person you married got a job in the U.S., and you came on a visa after they secured a work visa. Perhaps you married someone who was already a U.S. citizen and then entered the country to be with them. Maybe you even obtained a fiance visa and married your citizen spouse after entering the country.
Unfortunately, some people who enter the country this way eventually become victims of domestic violence. Someone who seems like a great partner before could become aggressive or abusive once they know you have legal or financial dependency on them. Thankfully, you don’t have to endure an abusive relationship to stay in the United States.
There are special visas for victims of violent crime
The U nonimmigrant visa specifically exists to protect those who have become victims of criminal acts in the U.S. or acts committed by a U.S. citizen. Provided that the victim meets the criteria to enter and stay in the country and can help with the prosecution of the person who victimized them, a U visa could save someone’s life.
Instead of enduring increasing abuse, you can leave and get help. You can also ask to stay in the United States indefinitely as someone who has been the victim of a crime and who has helped in the prosecution of the perpetrator of that crime.
There may also be other options for battered spouses with uncertain immigration circumstances. Getting good legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney can help you end the abuse and take control over your own life.