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Spouse Abuse & Victims of Crime

Victims of Spouse Abuse or Victims of Crime

The Law Offices of Elaine Cheung, LLC provides a serene, comfortable and strictly confidential environment, which makes it easy for our clients to tell their story. You can take can trust that absolutely no one outside of our office has access to your private information.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self Petitions, Battered Spouse or Child Waivers

For many reasons, immigrant women are especially vulnerable to becoming victims of domestic violence. Often, the abuser will use his status as a citizen or lawful permanent resident in order to terrorize and control his spouse. He may, for example, threaten to report her to immigration authorities to have her deported, refuse to file papers to adjust her immigration status, or threaten to take her children away. He may isolate her from her family and friends, not allow her to learn English, hide important immigration documents from her, or not allow her to work. The abuser may also use sexual, emotional, or physical abuse to control and degrade his victim and enforce her dependence on him.

Under VAWA, battered non-citizens who are married to, or recently divorced from U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents can self-petition (without the help or knowledge of their abusive spouse) to obtain Lawful Permanent Residence or to remove the condition on their 2-year Conditional Permanent Residence cards.

To schedule a consultation with a VAWA lawyer, please call 215-271-2288.

Victims of Crime

U Visas

The U visa is an immigrant visa that was established to encourage aliens to report crime and cooperate with law enforcement officials. The U visa is potentially available to victims of torture, trafficking, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, prostitution, domestic violence, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, unlawful criminal restraint, abduction, false imprisonment, felonious assault, manslaughter, murder, blackmail, extortion, obstruction of justice, perjury, witness tampering and other crimes. It is required that the victims of the above mentioned crimes have been or are being cooperative with law enforcement officials, judges and prosecutors. Law enforcement certification is necessary to qualify for a U visa. Victims of domestic violence whose abusers are NOT U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents may qualify for the U visa in lieu of the battered spouse petition under VAWA.

T Visas

T visas are available for immigrant victims of severe forms of human trafficking, sex trade or forced labor, on the condition that they help law enforcement officials investigate and prosecute crimes related to human trafficking. Victims under 18 years of age, however, are not required to cooperate with law enforcement in order to obtain a T visa.

T visas allow victims to remain in the U.S. for 4 years (or more with law enforcement authority certification) to live and work in the U.S. T visa status may also be extended to certain immediate family members, such as spouses, children and parents (when the victim is under 18 years of age).

To schedule a consultation with Immigration Lawyer Elaine Cheung, Esq., please call 877-235-0430 toll free and 215-271-2288.