Create an outline before you write with all the important points you want to make and to create a structure following a time line throughout your life. Try to include time references (Jan. 2010 or spring of 2006) throughout your description.
Keep Goals in Mind
Make sure your declaration addresses each of the USCIS requirements according to you specific situation (i.e. legally married to abuser; where lived with lawful permanent resident spouse, etc.) You do not have to specifically list these factors but should discuss each point somewhere in your declaration.
Although it may be difficult to recount, you should be as specific as possible and provide detailed information about the type of abuse you suffered and how often. Compare these examples.
"We argued a lot over money, and he called me names." This sentence does not explain the type of abuse that occurred. It actually sounds like an argument that occurs in many marriages - including the name calling.
"We argued about how he kept my paycheck and gave me only $20.00 a week. He told me I didn't need any money because I was a woman. When he got really mad, he called me names and said I was a stupid Honduran who should be lucky to even be here. One time, he threw a boot at me but it did not hit me because I moved." This example shows that your spouse was financially controlling you and tried to physically harm you.
Address Good Moral Character
Your declaration is crucial in establishing good moral character. Try to give examples. For example, "I am responsible, and have never missed a day of work. I have paid federal taxes every year in which I have been in this country. I also have never been arrested, have committed or have been convicted a crime apart from speeding." If you have an arrest or conviction resulting from an incident with your abuser, explain the circumstances in detail, as there is a waiver available.
USCIS examines your statements carefully and compares it with other documents in your file and accompanying your petition. Do not exaggerate incidents. USCIS will check your statements for consistency and any contradictions. You do not want to give the impression that you are untruthful as this can be determinative of whether your petition is granted.
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