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What other routes/avenues can i take if my US citizen spouse won't sponsor, help or cooperate with me to gain status...if any?

Saint Louis, MO |

My husband is a US citizen we have been married for three years. He is going to file for divorce soon as we are no longer together or living together. We have two kids a one year old and a three year old. I entered the US legally via airline from Bermuda on a tourist visa which is now expired by a few years. He refuses to help me in any way shape or form and I am beyond frustrated as to what i can do. Please inform me of any other avenues I can take to gain status if there are any at all.

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Attorney answers 7


Bermuda is one of my favorite places ever! Sorry, I had to let you know that. To answer your question: you do not state if you ever applied for a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen during the 3 years you were married. It appears from the wording of your question that this was not done. There may (MAY - no guarantees) be other options available but they are very delicate and fact-specific and would require a personal consultation in detail with an attorney of your choice. On another note, you should probably also consult a family attorney to protect your rights to have shared custody with the children.

This advice does not form an attorney-client relationship and is merely informative. It should not by itself be relied upon to address a legal concern.


Generally, people qualify for permanent resident status (green card) through sponsorship by an employer or close relative. If you suffered abuse during your marriage, you may be able to self-petition in certain circumstances. Consult with an immigration attorney about the options that may be available to you.

The answer above is only general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Any answers offered by Ms. Koopman on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


Violence Against Women's Act, much better known under its acronym "VAWA". Google it. Refusal on the part of a (male!) spouse to sponsor wife for the green card also constitutes some form of (psychological cruelty) abuse. Better not seek "pro-bono" services on this one and at the very least pay a consultation fee to a real immigration lawyer with successful experience with many, many VAWA cases.

Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


Sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately you cannot compel your husband to submit an application on your behalf. As mentioned by my colleague, you may have other options but those will need to be discussed further with an experienced immigration attorney and are case and fact specific. Best of luck.

This response is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different and it is important to obtain sound legal advise from an experienced immigration attorney before filing an application. If you would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation further, please contact us at (479) 717-2278. We have offices located in Springdale, AR and Fayetteville, AR.


There is nothing in your fact description that suggests you would be eligible to apply for any immigration status in the USA.

The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.


Please consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine your options. You may be eligible to self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act. It is difficult to determine whether you have any recourse based on the facts you've presented. Good luck!


Hi what you may and may not be able to do would depend on some more facts. You may be able to find some relief under VAWA. I would suggest consulting with an Immigration Attorney to review all your options if any.