Can an Unmarried Immigrant Victim of Domestic Violence Get Their Immigration Status Changed Under Domestic Violence Law?

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“Hi I have been with the father of my three year old daughter for four years. The relationship was full of intimidation and abuse. I stayed because I had no family here in the US and also nowhere to go. I finally got the courage and went to a DV shelter, unfortunately I went back to him and now I am prognant with his second child. Is their anything under the DV act that could let me get my status immigration status, We were not legally married but I was his common law wife for all these years. I am in the state of NY.”

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There may be ways to Petition to change your status under the Violence Against Women Act. Since there is no common law marriage in New York (NY Domestic Relations Law Section 11) you may be able to Petition Immigation and Naturalization as a parent of an abused child. Here is a hotline where you might be able to get help: National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233. You likely will need the services of an immigration attorney to file all the proper forms. There may be either faith-based or other pro-bono services available in your community for DV victims that you should seek out.

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Author: House Attorney

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