San Antonio Immigration Attorneys

Immigration attorneys can help undocumented victims of crimes and domestic abuse. Under the U Visa statute, a crime victim can qualify for residency and a work permit in the United States. The criminal activity must be on the qualifying list of nearly 30 crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, torture, and blackmail. Additionally, the victim must show significant physical or mental harm, the ability to assist law enforcement in the arrest of the perpetrator, and the effort in aiding in the legal prosecution of the case.

Once an attorney files the petition, the applicant is no longer eligible for deportation. Also, authorization to work will be granted when the petition is approved. Applicants may file for green cards via adjustment of status when they are physically present for three years after being granted the U visa.

Representation of effective counsel is necessary due to the significant documentation required to prove every element under the statute. Attorneys coordinate with law enforcement officials in obtaining the necessary documentation.

VAWA is another law which protects spouses and children in cases of domestic abuse. There is relief from deportation when immigrants suffer in abusive relationships. VAWA applies to spouses and children of United States citizens or permanent residents.

The requirements are proof of entering a marriage in good-faith with a United States citizen or permanent resident, that the relationship was physically or psychologically abusive, and that the applicant shows good moral character. VAWA aims to provide aid in these unfair, abusive relationships. Sometimes the abuse lasts for years, and includes intimidation from the abusive spouse. It’s important to document every type of abuse, including threats to have the alien spouse deported. VAWA considers that alien spouses often fear reporting their citizen or resident spouses. Due to the complex nature of abusive relationships and the application process, these matters require the expertise of legal counsel.