This factsheet provides basic information on various immigration remedies available to victims of domestic violence and/or certain other crimes, including sexual abuse, child abuse or human trafficking. This factsheet covers:
  • A general overview of American legal immigration concepts and definition of terms
  • A general description of how people obtain legal status in the U.S. and how deportation or removal fits into the process
  • How marriage and divorce are related to immigration status
  • Specific protections in immigration law for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
  • How advocates can help victims in the immigration process
The information conveyed in this factsheet is intended only to assist in exploring options with non-citizen immigrants, and is not a substitute for individual advice from an experienced attorney.

Related Resources

May 2019 Advocate & Legal Services Findings: Immigrant Survivors Fear Reporting Violence

In May 2019, a coalition of national organizations gathered feedback from nearly six hundred advocates and attorneys from across the United States, learning that many immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence are now too afraid to call the police or go to court to get help. The advocates report that survivors have an increased fear of deportation, retaliation by their abusers, and separation from their children.

Advisory Revised Oct 2018: How Will ‘Public Charge’ Proposed Policy Changes Impact Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to propose regulations that discard longstanding policy about the meaning and application of the “public charge” provisions of immigration law. Proposed policies will have a significant detrimental impact on survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault by deterring immigrant families, including those with U.S.-citizen children, from seeking help when they need it. Safety net benefits can help victims recover and escape from abuse and play a significant role in preventing future harm.

API-GBV June 2017
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