The short answer is no. The longer answer is probably.
Foreign nationals can become legal permanent residents one year after asylum is granted. In order to obtain asylum, foreign nationals must show that they:
- Suffered past persecution or
- Have a well-founded fear of future persecution; and
- The harm must be on account of
- Race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
The group "women" is too large to qualify for protection. So, in order to win cases, an experienced attorney advocates that the harm suffered by the client occurred because of the way the foreign national was viewed in her home country.
This is not creative lawyering. This is the sad truth. Domestic violence is so deeply rooted in certain countries that the women fleeing for their lives are not even certain which experiences qualify as abuse. Persecution is not limited to physical harm, but also includes extreme mental injury such as death threats.
Asylum may be granted for victims when the police ignored her reports and offered no protection. This demonstrates that the government viewed her as a member of a social group that is not deserving of protection. When evidence shows that a government or a police force treates domestic violence as a family issue, and not the crime it really is,that may be sufficient to win an asylum case.
Importantly, asylum based on domestic violence is not limited to women. Men may also benefit, so long as they can demonstrate that their home country’s government is not helping them because they are viewed as a member of a group in society not deserving of protection. An example of this is men in same-sex relationships.
This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consultation with an experienced competent immigration attorney is the best way to address individual concerns.