Information about obtaining legal status for non-citizen survivors of domestic violence who are married to abusive US citizens or lawful permanent residents.
As a battered spouse, child or parent, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. The DV Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
These guides answer questions regarding immigration benefits.
As a permanent resident of the United States, you may help a relative become a lawful permanent resident based on your status. To do so, you will need to sponsor your relative and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support your relative(s) when they come to the United States. Click here to learn more.
A U.S. citizen who wishes to marry a non-U.S. citizen or permanent resident can help their fiancé(e) obtain permanent residence in different ways. Click here to learn more.
As a citizen of the United States, you may help a relative become a lawful permanent resident of the United States by obtaining what is often referred to as a “Green Card.” To do so, you need to sponsor your relative and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support your relative(s) when they come to the United States. Click here to learn more.
This resource discusses how MLSA provides access to free legal help in the language you understand.
In general, you may qualify for naturalization under Section 319(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) if you (1) Have been a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 3 years, (2) Have been living in marital union with the same U.S. citizen spouse during such time, and (3) Meet all other eligibility requirements under this section.
A T-visa gives temporary nonimmigrant status to victims of "severe forms of human trafficking" on the condition that they help law enforcement officials investigate and prosecute crimes related to human trafficking. However, if the victim is under 18 years of age, the law does not require cooperation with police to obtain a T-visa.
This page includes information about obtaining lawful status if you are the victim of certain crimes (including domestic abuse) and can obtain a certification that you are, have been or will be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.
Victims of Human Trafficking: T Nonimmigrant Status