Am I An Abused Immigrant?

“Am I an abused immigrant?” may seem like an odd question to ask yourself. However, sometimes we are unable to see our own situation clearly. Our lives are a continuous flow of events and interactions, and sometimes it is hard to step back and evaluate your life. If you read the below and think that your circumstances are similar to those described, then you may be experiencing abuse without having realized it. No one should live with abuse and there is help available for you. Immigration law is complicated, and can be very hard to understand for anyone trying to legally enter the U.S. or stay within legal status, especially if he or she is coping with abuse. If you are being abused, you have options and we are here to assist you.

If you would like a free, confidential consultation, please contact our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys.


Human Trafficking


Are you being threatened with deportation by your abusive spouse or intimate partner?

If you are being abused, your spouse or intimate partner may maintain his or her control over you and your relationship by using fear. Many times, we see abused immigrants who have a spouse or partner who takes advantage of your fear of losing your immigration status if he or she were to call USCIS (formerly known as INS). Your abusive spouse or partner may also threaten to refuse to sponsor your green card petition because you disobey or anger him or her. This does not mean the end of your immigration dream.

We can show you a different path to your immigration goals. If you have questions about your immigration issues and choices, please contact our immigration and green card attorneys.


How Do I know if I’m in an Abusive Relationship?

Abuse can be carried out in many different ways. There are some common behaviors or attitudes that may indicate that you are with an abusive partner. If he or she does any of the below, you may want to read more on our informational section detailing specific types of acts or behaviors that constitute abuse and extreme cruelty for immigration purposes.

Does your spouse or partner try to:

  • control and isolate you from any supportive environment by trying to interfere in these relationships, affecting your interactions and activities with friends, co-workers, family, support groups, counselors, social activities
  • Project his/her own mistakes and inadequacies on you, blaming you for his or her life and attempting to make you believe that the abuse is your fault, or that you somehow did something wrong to deserve it.
  • Rationalize the abuse and blame it on outside factors that have nothing to do with him or her such as: stress, problems at work, financial difficulties, alcohol or the children but takes it out on you, hoping that you will let it continue as his or her outlet.
  • Pretend that the abuse does not exist or denies that he or she is abusive

t nonimmigrant status


I have not experienced any physical abuse from my husband or wife. Can you still help me?

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protection does not require evidence of physical abuse to be eligible for a green card based on the abuse. Yes. Some cases are won purely on psychological abuse and often, a combination of financial and psychological abuse. We have successfully prepared many VAWA applications and have proudly helped many clients obtain Green Cards based on the abuse he or she endured in their relationship.

You will need affidavits of witnesses or other credible evidence of psychological and/or financial abuse to support your story.

VAWA Control Wheel

I am not married to a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder) or U.S. citizen but I am still being abused. Do I have any immigration options?

Yes. The abuser does not have to be in legal immigration status – and you do not even have to know if they are, under the U visa program for immigrant victims of crimes or the T visa for victims of human trafficking. We may be able to help you based on new protection for survivors of domestic violence, rape, forced imprisonment, and battery, who are not married or may not even know their abuser. Read more about U Visas for Victims of Crimes and T Visas for Victims of Human Trafficking.


A Syrian refugee boy stands behind a fence


I am a man who is being threatened and abused by his spouse or partner. Does the Violence Against Women Act provision also protect me?

Yes. Although most abuse is carried out by men against women, many men may be abused by female or male partners or spouses. Often, men do not recognize that what’s happening in their marriage or relationship is abusive. There are men whose lives have been threatened by their partner or spouse. Abuse may be through the partner’s own actions or by threats to use the family to harm. Men can be victims of physical abuse, psychological abuse, threats of violence, or financial extortion too. These abusive behaviors can make it emotionally or physically unsafe to stay in the relationship.

Read: Am I eligible for VAWA?

If you are a man who is in an abusive relationship, we encourage you to call us to discuss your situation. Our understanding and experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys are here to help, if you need us. Contact us now.


I entered the U.S. illegally or can’t prove that I entered legally. Am I still eligible to obtain a green card as an abused spouse through VAWA?

Yes, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) policy states that survivors who entered the U.S. without inspection (EWI) or entered illegally are still eligible for a green card and lawful permanent residence. You do not have to leave the U.S. to try to obtain a green card at a consulate abroad. We encourage you to call us to discuss your situation. We offer a free initial consultation with our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys.


Card Holder


I need an expert immigration lawyer. How do I know who to turn to?

Immigration law changes frequently and you need an experienced immigration attorney who is on the forefront of immigration reform. JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office focuses exclusively on immigration law, and we are here to offer you expert legal counsel and guide you on your immigration journey. We have successfully helped hundreds of clients obtain immigration benefits through VAWA and abuse related immigration benefits. For a free and confidential initial consultation with our experienced immigration attorneys, please call or email us today!

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