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I want to know if i can file for a green card or social without using my partner to do it?

Bakersfield, CA |

I've been married for almost 4yrs and we haven't been getting along for a while now we have 1 child together and i want to file for divorce without getting him taken away by him or getting deported i want to file for some kind of social so i can work and not have to rely on his dad. not to mention hes been abusive for the last 3 1/2 yrs i have had to call the cops before. please help because i need a safe way out of this relationship.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. First, if your husband is being abusive, take your child and go to the nearest shelter for battered or abused women. They will be able to help you and guide you through this difficult time. Protect yourself and your child first - that should be your top priority.

    Second, consult with a qualified immigration attorney. It sounds like you would be able to self-petition under VAWA (the Violance Against Women Act) as a battered or abused spouse. You would not need your husband's consent or help to do that. If you have called the police because of the abuse before, make sure to try and get copies of the prior police reports. If he has been arrested or charged with domestic violence in the past, get copies of those court records as well. If you have ever been to the doctor or emergency room because of injuries, get those records. Get everything out of the house you need to when you leave, because you will not need to go back once you leave him.

    You will probably need to file some sort of petition for protection from abuse - different states have different procedures. Oftentimes, you can get temporary restraining orders and temporary custody orders pending further court hearings. The shelter you go to should be able to help you arrange this or at least point you in the right direction.

    There are dedicated groups of people out there who will help you - both with regard to your domestic problems and with your immigration problems. Again, protect your safety first, then focus on your marriage and immigration concerns. I have attached a link to a yellowpages listing for shelters for battered women and children in the Bakersfield area. Best of luck to you.

  2. File for a green card under VAWA.

    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

  3. Hello:

    I'm confused if you are the U.S Citizen or if he is the U.S. Citizen. If you are the foreign national and he has been abusive, you should file the VAWA petition for battered spoused.

    We have 3 offices over the State of California and an international office in the Philippines. We do 100% Immigration Law, have done nearly 5000 cases and can help you. Should you want an in depth consultation, please schedule one at or call 562-495-0554 or e-mail me directly at

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