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Question: I have been beaten by my husband and he never petitioned me. He was a lawful permanent resident, but was deported and now has no status. I really did love him at some point in the past. Is there something I can do?

Answer: You do not have to stay in this relationship and there is something you can do. There is a petition known as the self-petitioning battered spouse provision. Parts of the law providing help in this regard come from provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act) by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA). Title V of the VTVPA is entitled the Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act (BIWPA), and contains several provisions amending the self-petitioning eligibility requirements contained in the Act.

Question: However, my husband was deported and no longer has legal status in the U.S. Can I still file this petition?

Answer: As long as the petition is filed within two years of when your husband lost his status, you are still eligible to file the petition. For example, if your abusive husband has died, the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen who died within the two years immediately preceding the filing of the self-petition may benefit from the self-petitioning provisions for abusive United States Citizens.

Assuming this is not a case dealing with the death of a USC, you must demonstrate that the abuser’s loss of status was related to or due to an incident of domestic violence, and that you file your self-petition within two years of the loss of status. Thus, in your case, since your husband was deported most likely because of the domestic violence, there would not be a problem filing this petition. You should provide the circumstances surrounding the loss of status; the requisite causal relationship between the loss of status and the incident of domestic violence; and that the loss of status occurred within the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of the self-petition.

Similarly, divorce from an LPR or loss of LPR status by an LPR abuser after the filing of the self-petition shall not adversely affect the approval of the self-petition, nor shall it affect the ability of an approved self-petitioner to adjust status to that of an LPR.

Question: When must I file the application?

Answer: Eligibility to Self-Petition as a Battered Spouse or Child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident must be filed within Two Years of the Abuser’s Loss of Status.

Question: What must I provide and what evidence is necessary to be able to file this petition?

Answer: A self-petitioning spouse or child must demonstrate that his or her abusive spouse or parent is or was a U.S. Citizen (USC) or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). A self-petition filed by a battered spouse or child must be accompanied by evidence of citizenship of the U.S. citizen or evidence of the immigration status of the lawful permanent resident abuser. Self-petitioners are encouraged to submit primary evidence whenever possible, although adjudicators will consider any relevant credible evidence. USCIS regulations provide detailed information concerning the primary supporting documentation needed as evidence of a petitioner’s U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residence. Self-petitioners can submit evidence of a spousal relationship to a USC or LPR. Evidence should include a birth certificate issued by a civil authority that shows the abuser’s birth in the United States; The abuser’s unexpired U.S. passport issued initially for a full ten-year period to a citizen of the United States; The abuser’s expired U.S. passport issued initially for a full five-year period to a citizen of the United States who was under the age of 18 at the time of issuance; A statement executed by a U.S. consular officer certifying the abuser to be a U.S. citizen and the bearer of a currently valid U.S. passport; The abuser’s Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship; Department of State Form FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States, relating to the abuser; and the abuser’s Form I-551 Alien Registration Receipt Card, or other proof given by USCIS as evidence of lawful permanent residence.

Question: What is I cannot find evidence that my husband was a Lawful Permanent Resident?

Answer: If primary evidence is unavailable, the self-petitioner must present secondary evidence. Any evidence submitted as secondary evidence should be evaluated for authenticity and credibility. If a self-petitioner is unable to present primary evidence or secondary evidence of the abuser’s status, the officer will attempt to electronically verify the abuser’s citizenship or immigration status from information contained in DHS computerized records. Other DHS records may also be reviewed at the discretion of the adjudicating officer. It is ultimately, however, the self-petitioner’s burden to establish the abuser’s U.S. citizenship or immigration status. If USCIS is unable to identify a record as relating to an abuser or the record does not establish the abuser’s immigration or citizenship status, the self-petition will be adjudicated based on the information submitted by the self-petitioner.

Thus, if your spouse or parent is abusing you, there is no need to stay. You are able to file a self petition to help yourself and to get status by yourself.

Home » Immigration Updates » I have been beaten by my husband. Now what?

I have been beaten by my husband. Now what?