Under the Violence Against Women Act, certain victims of domestic violence can file an immigrant visa petition to seek safety and independence. This provision is known as a U-visa, and it is filed without the abuser’s knowledge. These provisions apply to both men and women. They apply to spouses, parents and children who are in an abusive relationship. However, there are eligibility requirements.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services lists these requirements:
- The abuser must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- You must have experienced extreme cruelty or battery by the abuser, your parent, spouse or child over the age of 21.
- You and the abuser must have lived together.
- You must have good moral character.
- You must have entered into the marriage in good faith, not for immigration benefits, if the abuser is a spouse.