DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

The Violence Against Women Act provides for two remedies for persons that are victims of  domestic violence in the United States. The primary, administrative remedy allows victims to apply for a special nonimmigrant status that provides the applicant with employment authorization, once approved.  The act also provides for an immigrant visa ("green card) for qualified victims of domestic violence in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court.  An application is made before the Court for Cancellation of Removal, which if granted by the Immigration Judge provides the applicant with permanent residence status ("green card") in the United States.  Permanent residence is an immigrant status that provides a pathway to US citizenship in the United States.  After five (5) years in this status, an application for US citizenship may be filed.  Although not formally sanctioned by the Board of Immigration Appeals, many victims of domestic violence in their home country apply for asylum in the United States.  Many of these cases have been granted, however, a final ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals, has not yet been issued.    
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