USCIS Answers Questions Regarding Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence

January 19th, 2011
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USCIS has released an informational online pamphlet that answers common questions regarding alien domestic violence victims and marriage-based immigration.

Immigrants are particularly vulnerable because many may not speak English, are often separated from family and friends, and may not understand the laws of the United States.  For these reasons, immigrants are often afraid to report acts of domestic violence to the police or to seek other forms of assistance.  Such fear causes many immigrants to remain in abusive relationships.

This fact sheet will explain domestic violence and inform you of your legal rights in the United States.  Also, this fact sheet provides the same information as the pamphlet titled, “Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa.”  The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) requires that the U.S. government provide foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses immigrating to the United States information about their legal rights as well as criminal or domestic violence histories of their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)s and spouses.  One of IMBRA’s goals is to provide accurate information to immigrating fiancé(e)s and spouses about the immigration process and how to access help if their relationship becomes abusive.

The information provided by US Citizenship and Immigration Services also addresses the following questions:

  • What is Domestic Violence Against an Immigrant?
  • What are the legal rights for immigrant victims of domestic violence in the US?
  • What services are available to immigrant domestic violence and sexual abuse victims?
  • What immigration options are available to an immigrant victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or another crime?
  • How does the marriage-based immigration process work?
  • What are the penalties for marriage fraud?
  • How does the US regulate International Marriage Brokers?

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