Immigration Attorney in Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, and Pensacola Assist with U and T Visa Applications, VAWA, and TPS
Protections for foreign nationals who have been victims of crime or abuse
It is terrifying to be alone in a strange country and to be the victim of a violent crime. It is even worse when you are afraid to ask for help because you could be returned to a country you fled and suffer even greater abuse. Fortunately, U.S. immigration law has certain visas available for foreign nationals who fall victim to crime, abuse or neglect. The concerned attorney and his team at Southern Star Immigration work diligently to ensure that injured immigrants receive every protection the law provides.
Humanitarian assistance for victims of crime in the United States
Battered spouse and child protections — Spouses and children of U.S. citizens or LPRs who are victims of domestic abuse may file a self-petition to obtain a green card. The petitioner must prove:
- A bona fide relationship with a citizen/LPR
- Cruel treatment by that citizen/LPR
- Good moral character
The fViolence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides an immigration path by which battered spouses can obtain green cards.
U visas for victims of crime — Foreign nationals who are victims of certain violent crimes may petition for a special U visa, with an opportunity to apply for a green card after three years. U visa petitioners must prove that they:
- Are the victim of a qualifying crime committed in the United States or against its laws
- Suffered substantially as a result
- Have information about the crime
- Have been or will be helpful in the investigation and prosecution of the crime
U visa holders may also, in some circumstances, be able to petition for other family members.
T visas for victims of human trafficking and their families — A foreign national in the United States who was brought into the country as a victim of human trafficking can apply for special T-1 nonimmigrant status to stay in the country to assist in the investigation and prosecution of such crimes. This can eventually lead to a green card. T-1 visa holders may also petition for immediate relatives in their country of origin to join them in the United States
Special Immigration Juvenile (SIJ) Status — The purpose of creating this designation was to help foreign children already in the United States who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. SIJ means that these children do not need waivers of inadmissibility to remain in the country. Children granted SIJ status who are not able to reunite with their parents may apply for a green card to live and work permanently in the United States. Children who receive a green card through SIJ status can never petition for a family visa green card for their parents and cannot petition for a green card for their siblings until they become citizens.
Temporary protected status (TPS) for nationals of unsafe countries
Certain conditions in a person's nation of origin, such as civil strife or natural disaster, sometimes prompt the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to designate that country for temporary protected status (TPS). Once DHS has made that designation, a national from that country (the TPS beneficiary) who is present on the date of designation is protected from removal and can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) if he or she fulfills certain requirement. TPS does not grant any permanent rights, but neither does it prevent the beneficiary from applying for an adjustment of status, if otherwise qualified.
Fort Walton Beach immigration lawyers help immigrants in special circumstances
Southern Star Immigration assists foreign nationals who've been the victims of crime resolve visa problems. If you're suffering hardship due to crimes committed against you and want to secure your legal status, call Southern Star Immigration at 855.692.4649 or contact our office online.