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Legal Information: Federal


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Are there options if I want to change my legal status?

There are options to change the legal status that some people who have been a victim of domestic violence may qualify for:

The U Visa: If you have been the victim of a crime (including domestic violence) and you are willing to cooperate with the authorities in the investigation of the crime, you may qualify for a U visa. You do not need to be married to your abuser and your abuser does not need to be an American citizen or a permanent legal resident.

VAWA Self-Petition: If you are a victim of domestic violence and you are married or were married to an American citizen or permanent legal resident, you may qualify to self-petition under VAWA.

Battered Spouse Waiver: If you are a victim of domestic violence and you already have conditional residence, you do not need to wait the entire two years required by the law to change your status from “conditional” to “permanent.” You may obtain permanent residence before completing the two years.

There are other forms of immigration benefits that a non citizen may qualify for. To learn more, you may consider an immigration lawyer. You can find the contact information of immigration organizations here.