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What you need to know about the domestic violence green card

When you married a U.S. citizen, you had great hopes for a new life here. Sadly, many marriages deteriorate over time, and some spouses even become the victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately, many immigrants just like you are in the same situation, and they find it hard to reach out for help.

You knew the abuse you were suffering was not right, but you weren't sure if there was anything you could do about it. In fact, you weren't even sure you had any rights at all since you were not born in the United States and are not a naturalized U.S. citizen. If you relate to this description, you may want to learn more about the domestic violence green card.

What it is and who is eligible

The federal government understands the need to protect people from domestic violence. The following list of facts explains this particular green card process and provides information about available resources that may be useful in your situation:

  • Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to act as a self-petitioner to file an application for a domestic violence green card, which is a special green card providing permanent residency to those who qualify.
  • Even if you are not currently residing in the United States, if you suffered abuse at the hands of a U.S. citizen while you were within the nation's borders, you may still be able to obtain a domestic violence green card.
  • If you reside in the United States but your documentation is not in order, it does not necessarily mean there is no help available to you.
  • Those who are eligible for a domestic violence green card would include spouses of U.S. citizens, immigrant parents of U.S. citizens or children under age 21 who suffer abuse by U.S. citizen parents.
  • In addition to showing evidence of abuse, you must also be able to convince officials that you are of good moral character. Although this cannot be objectively defined, there are guidelines and issues the court will consider to determine if you meet the requirement. It may be very helpful to ask an experienced immigration attorney to advocate on your behalf.

By obtaining a domestic violence green card, you are granted permission to permanently reside and work in Georgia or any other location in the United States. You may even leave and re-enter the United States at will, provided you carry your green card with you at all times.

There is help available, and you do not have to suffer in silence.

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