When immigrants come to the United States to get married, they often have high hopes for their future lives. But all marriages can have problems — and those between immigrants and the citizen spouses are no exception. There are laws in place, however, to protect immigrant spouses from abuse by their citizen spouse.
If you are the victim of domestic violence by your citizen spouse, you can file an application for a domestic violence green card. This is a provision of the Violence Against Women Act, but it doesn’t only provide protection for women. It applies to any immigrant who’s being abused, as well as cases in which a citizen spouse is abusing children.
Why should you consider this option?
Nobody deserves to be stuck in an abusive marriage just because of their immigration status. You have the option of being a self-petitioner for a green card. This gives you a chance to be a permanent resident and enjoy all the benefits that come with that status.
There are specific requirements for these petitions, so you need to ensure that your case qualifies you for one. The protections are extended to spouses and abused children. In the case of a child being abused, the immigrant parent can apply for protection.
What should you do if you’re being abused?
One of the most important things is to get somewhere safe. You also need to learn about your rights. This may help you to come up with your plan. You deserve to live a life that isn’t filled with abuse, so don’t negate your ability to build a life in this country without your spouse.