A victim of crime is afforded the right to justice and protection in the United States, regardless of their immigration status. Immigration Laws offer special considerations to those who have been the subject of physical, mental or sexual abuse and/or have suffered other forms of exploitation in the workplace or home.
Victims of crime are not helpless when it comes to immigration concerns. If you, your children, or someone you know feel trapped in an abusive and dangerous situation, help is available. There are systems in place to protect those who have faced harm and threats while living in the United States, even if they entered the country illegally. Obtaining the proper legal representation can allow you to take advantage of these special considerations. You can achieve physical safety for you and your loved ones, protection from deportation, and a path to citizenship.
The law offices of Nassim Arzani have helped the victims of crime successfully achieve justice and protection in the United States for nearly 2 decades. Contact her offices today. It could save your life. To make an appointment at her office in Irvine, call 949.852.3500. Call 951.683.0900 to schedule an appointment at her office in Riverside.
- 1 About The Violence Against Women Act and U Visas
- 2 U-Visas
- 3 Waiver of Inadmissibility
- 4 The Violence Against Women Act
- 5 Cancellation of Removal For Battered Spouse or Children
- 6 Personal Consultation
- 7 Get Representation for Results
- 8 How Much Does VAWA or U Visa Representation Cost in Riverside, Orange County and Los Angeles?
- 9 References
About The Violence Against Women Act and U Visas
The American immigration system has important features that emphasize the following:
- Fear of deportation should not prevent crimes from being reported and prosecuted.
- Domestic abuse is illegal.
Many women are afraid to leave abusive partners or report criminal behavior for fear of being deported and being separated from their children. In many cases abusers threaten to report the undocumented victim to the authorities, which could lead to the victim being deported.
- U Visas grant legal status and a work permit to immigrants willing to report the crime and assist law enforcement in the prosecution of the offenders.
- The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows women (and men) to take control of their immigration status and processing so that they no longer have to rely on an abusive partner or family member.
Don’t assume that you may not be eligible for these protections, even if your applications have been denied in the past. Immigration law is a constantly evolving system that has increased the allowances and created new ways for those suffering abuse to take control of their immigration status, find safety, and seek justice. An experienced immigration lawyer is vital to navigating this complex system and taking advantage of America’s many resources dedicated to helping victims of abuse. Nassim Arzani is exactly such.
To learn more about the ways her firm secures justice for immigrants in Southern California, visit her blog.
In 2000, The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act was passed by Congress. This added many important additions to immigration law, including the creation of the U Visa.
Those granted a U Visa have nonimmigrant, but legal status. U Visas provide temporary immigration benefits to those who are victims of qualifying criminal activity, and to their family members, as appropriate. You may qualify for a U Visa if you are a victim of a designated criminal activity in the U.S., suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of the qualifying criminal activity, possess information about the criminal activity, and helped a federal, state, or local government official investigate the qualifying crime.
One of the main reasons that The U Visa was established was to assist law enforcement in managing certain kinds of serious criminal activity. One of the requirements in applying for a U Visa is evidence of the crime that has been certified by law enforcement.
Qualifying Criminal Activities include:
- Abduction, kidnapping
- Any form of sexual abuse, exploitation, or rape, including incest
- Blackmail or extortion
- Domestic violence
- Felonious assault, torture, stalking
- Fraud in foreign labor contracting
- Involuntary servitude, human trafficking
- Interference with the justice system
A U Visa lasts for up to 4 years but may be extended if the individual is still assisting law enforcement. After 3 years, the holder of a U Visa can file for legal permanent resident status.
Like other kinds of visas that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issue, there are caps to the number of U Visas that can be issued each year. For this visa, the limit is 10,000.
U Visas for Derivatives, or Family Members
When applying for a U Visa, the petitioner can also apply for a “derivative.” This includes a child, spouse, sibling, or if the petitioner is under 21, a parent. These qualifying family members are eligible for a derivative U visa but do not count against the annual visa cap.
Waiver of Inadmissibility
For those who entered the United States unlawfully, or do not have a valid passport or visa, a Wavier of Inadmissibility can allow them to apply for visas, adjustment of status, or self-petition under The Violence Against Women Act.
The Violence Against Women Act
VAWA prevents abused women from being forced to choose between staying in an abusive relationship and possible deportation.
Applying for a Green Card, or legal permanent resident status normally requires being sponsored by a U.S. Citizen. For those who are being sponsored by an abusive spouse, family member, or employer, this can often transform the means to a better life into a powerful tool of control.
At American Law Center, we help battered immigrant women self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) for legal permanent resident status when they or their children have suffered abuse at the hands of a citizen or Green Card holder. (2) This approach allows the victim to obtain a Green Card without the abuser being notified of her application or location. Any information supplied by the abuser about the applicant will not be considered by USCIS. Unmarried children under the age of 21 are also able to apply for a Green Card as derivative applicants under VAWA.
Cancellation of Removal For Battered Spouse or Children
Cancellation of Removal is available to those in removal proceedings who were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent. It also applies to parents who have been abused by their children who have Green Cards or are citizens. (3)
To read more about their victories, click here.
Although you must still demonstrate physical presence in the U.S. for certain amounts of time, there are exceptions if the circumstances surrounding your abuse led to your being outside of the country during the required time period. You must also not been convicted of certain crimes. These cases require a skilled immigration lawyer who can gather evidence and prepare clients and witnesses to testify at the final hearing. It’s also essential to be able to prove that being deported would cause extreme hardship to family members that remain in the US. Nassim Arzani has a 100% success rate in achieving cancellation of removal for its VAWA clients. (4)
Your personal consultation with Nassim Arzani is just that: personal. She meets with each of her potential clients to get to know the circumstances of their unique situation in a discreet and secure environment. With over 17 years of experience, she understands the heartbreaking circumstances and dire situations that have led her clients to seek legal representation.
This meeting is the crucial first step. It allows Ms. Arzani to review all pertinent information, determine the best course of action, and anticipate the course of your defense. After analyzing the complicated and unique details of your case, Nassim Arzani will determine whether you may be eligible to apply for a U Visa, or whether you are eligible to apply for legal permanent resident status under VAWA. If you are facing deportation proceedings, she will apply for a cancellation of removal, and begin to build a defense that ensures the safety of a future in the United States for you and your family.
Get Representation for Results
Having skilled and experienced legal representation can ensure that justice is served, the innocent is protected from their abuser, and families are able to remain together safely in the United States. It can also allow you and your family to begin your path to citizenship. Applying for a U Visa or for legal permanent resident status under VAWA can be a complicated process. There are numerous forms, fees, and types of required documentation to provide. And, there are nearly as many exceptions as there are rules. Nassim Arzani is a certified specialist in Immigration and Nationality, and as such is particularly well-equipped to handle these kinds of cases. She is also a woman, and an immigrant who has made it her mission to seek justice for those whose very human rights have been violated. No one deserves the benefits and protection that the United States offers more.
If you are enduring cruelty but facing a complex immigration situation, schedule an appointment now. Help is available, and there is no reason to subject yourself or your children to another minute of abuse. Contact Nassim Arzani today.
How Much Does VAWA or U Visa Representation Cost in Riverside, Orange County and Los Angeles?
The stakes are high when it comes to keeping victims of crime and their families safe. Ms. Arzani has helped her clients successfully navigate the legal system and take advantage of all the protections that it offers. Her legal team will take the time to tirelessly construct a water-tight case that ensures all facets of the crimes committed against her clients and their families are adequately documented and represented in court.
During your consultation, Ms. Arzani will be able to provide you with an affordable price for accessible legal representation that takes your unique circumstances into consideration.
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. U Visa Demographics: Analysis of Data through FY 2019. ; 2020. https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/reports/U_Visa_Report_-_Demographics.pdf
- H.R.3244 – 106th Congress (1999-2000): Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, H.R.3244, 106th Cong. (2000), https://www.congress.gov/bill/106th-congress/house-bill/3244.
- 8 U.S.C. § 1229b – Cancellation of removal; adjustment of status
- American Immigration Council. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Provides Protections for Immigrant Women and Victims of Crime. American Immigration Council. Published May 7, 2012. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/violence-against-women-act-vawa-immigration