Immigration benefit for victims of sexual abuse

American Psychological society defines sexual abuse as unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent. Most victims and perpetrators know each other. Immediate reactions to sexual abuse include shock, fear or disbelief. Long-term symptoms include anxiety, fear or post-traumatic stress disorder. Domestic violence victim are eligible to seek the following benefits:

1.Self-petitions for legal status under the Violence against Women Act (VAWA).

2.Cancellation of removal under Violence against Women Act ( for victims in deportation court)

3.U-nonimmigrant status (crime victims)

4.T-visa status if you were brought to the United Statesfor prostitution

5.Asylum based on social grounds (gender violence) for those fear to return to their country on account of persecution.

6.Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status The purpose of the SIJ program is to help foreign children in the United States who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. Sexual abuse can be a basis for this claim. Children who get a green card through the SIJ program can live and work permanently in the United States.

Each of the immigration status mentioned above has specific detailed legal requirements. It is expected that a person seeking any benefit above based on sexual abuse must prove the following evidence:

a)Detailed declaration from the victim telling his or her own story;

b)Letters from witnesses of the abuse;

c)Letters from counselors, shelters, and community groups, etc;

d)Medical records;

e)Police reports; and

f)Restraining orders.

If you do not have some or any of evidence listed above and you are a victim of sexual abuse, you may still be eligible to apply for immigration benefit. Call for a free telephone evaluation.

The content of this article is intended for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. Those seeking specific legal advice should contact Gertrude Onuoha Esq. at 575 Lexington Ave., 4th Fl. New York, NY 10022 (Phone) 732-642-5605.

Gertrude Onuoha Esq. is the founder of the law offices of Gertrude Onuoha, P.C. She has practiced law for more than 17 years. She has great depth of experience and a successful track record in handling immigration matters. She is admitted to practice law in the state of New York and has a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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