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Herndon, Virginia VAWA & U Visas Lawyers

Compassionate Legal Support for Victims of Abuse and Crime

Immigrants often face difficulties as they work to make new lives for themselves in the United States. Unfortunately, some immigrants may be placed in difficult situations where they have experienced violence or abuse. In these cases, a person may be concerned that if they report these issues to law enforcement, they could face deportation or other penalties. Fortunately, those who have suffered from domestic abuse or have been harmed by other criminal offenses may have legal options that will allow them to remain in the U.S. and receive Green Cards. U.S. immigration law includes provisions that are designed to protect victims and ensure that they can maintain a legal status while providing for themselves and their family members.

At The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC, our immigration attorneys provide legal help for crime victims and people who are seeking to escape abusive situations. We can offer critical support and guidance to ensure that the proper steps are taken to request relief, avoid violations of immigration laws, and maintain a legal status in the U.S. We are compassionate legal advocates for people in difficult situations, and we work to resolve these issues as efficiently as possible.

The Violence Against Women Act

Immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence may receive protection under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This law applies to both women and men who have experienced battery or other forms of abuse at the hands of a family member. If a person has been abused by a family member who is a U.S citizen or lawful permanent resident, including their current or former spouse, one or both of their parents, or their son or daughter, they can self-petition for a Green Card. This provides immigrants with the opportunity to maintain a legal status in the United States without the cooperation or knowledge of their abuser.

U Visas for Crime Victims

In addition to situations involving domestic abuse, there are many other cases where immigrants may suffer harm due to crimes committed by others. Fortunately, crime victims can take steps to avoid deportation, continue living in the United States, and eventually receive Green Cards by applying for U visas. These visas provide relief for people who have suffered significant harm, either physically or mentally, due to crimes such as sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, human trafficking, involuntary servitude, prostitution, extortion, manslaughter, or murder. Victims must be willing to provide help to law enforcement as they investigate or prosecute these crimes.

A U visa will allow a person to continue living in the United States as a nonimmigrant for four years, and extensions may be granted during a continuing criminal investigation, due to delays in processing by immigration officials, or because of extraordinary circumstances. A U visa holder can apply for a Green Card after three years, as long as they have continued to cooperate with law enforcement during this time.

How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help Victims of Abuse or Other Crimes

People who have experienced abuse or who have suffered harm due to criminal activity will often be unsure about their options. They may rely on their abuser to apply for visas or Green Cards on their behalf, or they may be concerned that they could face deportation if they report crimes to law enforcement. At The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC, we can provide sensitive legal guidance for victims, helping them determine their legal options and working to ensure that they will receive the legal protections they need.

We can assess the eligibility criteria for VAWA self-petitions or U visas, looking at a person's unique circumstances to make sure they will qualify for protection. We can help prepare and submit all necessary applications and supporting documentation to demonstrate eligibility and address concerns related to an immigrant's legal status. We can help victims cooperate with law enforcement and advocate for their interests, ensuring that they will be able to live safely in the United States and maintain permanent residence.

Contact Our Fairfax County U Visa and VAWA Self-Petition Lawyers

If you are seeking immigration relief as a victim of domestic abuse or another serious crime, The Law Firm of Ruiz Dougherty, PLLC is here to provide the legal support you need. Our attorneys are committed to providing confidential, compassionate, and effective legal representation tailored to the unique needs of each client. Contact us at 571-441-2233 to arrange a free consultation.

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