Self-petitioning for a green card under Violence Against Women Act

Article here. Excerpt:

'Q. Can I self-petition for my green card under the Violence Against Women Act if my husband is a permanent resident, but not a U.S. citizen?

Name withheld, Brooklyn

A. You can self-petition for your green card. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioning is available to spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

VAWA was enacted to protect spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents from spousal abuse. Before VAWA, a spouse petitioner could use the threat of withdrawing the petition to inflict abuse on a spouse seeking legal status.

To get your green card under VAWA, you must prove that you married your husband in good faith. That is, that your marriage wasn’t just so you could get a green card. And you must prove that you are the victim of spousal abuse (or that your husband was abusive to your child).

The abuse can be mental or physical. If your husband has been mentally abusive, such as using the fact that he has petitioned for you to make your life miserable, you should get an evaluation from a mental health professional. Get expert legal help.'

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