If filed under VAWA, you are exempt from the the public charge requirements
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You stated that you are a self-petitioner. It would be helpful to know exactly what kind of self-petitioner you are. Did you file as the abused spouse of a US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, using form I-360?
You should consult with an immigration attorney about your case. Perhaps you might find a nonprofit agency near you that might provide you with some assistance and low or no cost. Good luck.
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I agree with my colleague.
(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.
Some categories of immigrants are required to prove that they are not likely to become a public charge. Others are exempt from this. It depends on the basis for your adjustment of status.
The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.
It sounds from your information that you filed as a battered Spouse. If that is correct then you are exempt from the public charge restrictions.
Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 email@example.com Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104
As others stated, if you filed under VAWA, you are exempt from public charge issues. You should contact resources such as WEAVE, CASA de Maryland, Bread for the City, and others to see what you may qualify for. Unfortunately, most federal benefits require having been in "qualified" immigrant status for five years, which applies to very few VAWA applicants. Good luck.
This general information does not establish any attorney-client relationship. There may well be factors not mentioned in the question which could and should be addressed in an attorney consultation.