Q: Is there a way to help my friend get home without huge legal trouble?
I have a friend who is from Romania. She's been here since 2019 originally with work and travel temporary Visa's. Her boyfriend convinced her to stay and they got married. I know they started filling out forms for green card and he's sponsoring her, but the relationship has turned very verbally abusive and he's using her status as a way to control her and she can't legally work so he's using money against her too. She doesn't want him in legal trouble, she just wants to go home. Her passport officially expired this year as well. She's at a loss of what to do and I don't even no where to begin to help her. Is there a way to get her home? And can she also do it without getting banned from the US as overstay wasn't her actual intentions? Would her marriage even be legally recognized and in turn she'd need a divorce?
If your friend married her boyfriend and is interested in attempting to regularize her status and remain in the United States, she should speak with an immigration attorney to discuss her potential eligibility for VAWA, which you can read more about here: https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-eligibility/green-card-for-vawa-self-petitioner
If she is interested in returning to Romania, she should get in contact with the Romanian Consulate in her city about renewing her passport.
If she leaves the United States, unfortunately her previous overstay will impact her ability to be able to return to the United States. Since she entered on a nonimmigrant visa and overstayed, her visa was automatically revoked as a matter of law. If she wants to return in the future, she would have to re-establish her ties to Romania, disclose her previous overstay, and most likely require a waiver.
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