Q: Immigration query - domestic violence case.
Five years ago, I went through a divorce from my husband, who was in the United States on a visitor's visa. This decision was prompted by a troubling history of domestic violence. At the time, I held an F1 visa, and he was my dependent. Our marriage had initially taken place in the U.S. After the divorce, I returned to India for a two-year period. During this time, my ex-husband attempted to contact me but was unable to locate me. Now, I have returned to the United States to pursue my second master's degree, driven by concerns for my safety. In this context, I'm considering whether seeking shelter or protection in the U.S. is a viable option.
A: Sorry to hear about your situation. Asylum in the US can only be pursued if you are able to demonstrate that you were persecuted or have a fear of persecution in your home country due to your Race, Religion, Nationality, Social group or Political opinion.
Given your history of domestic violence and ongoing concerns for your safety, it's important to understand the options available to you in the United States. As a student on an F1 visa, you have certain protections and avenues you can explore.
First, consider reaching out to the international student office at your university. They often provide support and guidance to students facing personal and legal challenges. They may also be able to connect you with local resources for individuals experiencing domestic violence.
You may also explore options for legal protection, such as restraining orders, which can offer a level of safety and legal recourse if your ex-husband attempts to contact you. This process can typically be initiated through local law enforcement or the courts.
Additionally, there are various organizations and shelters in the U.S. dedicated to assisting those affected by domestic violence. They can offer safe housing, counseling, legal advice, and other forms of support.
Given the complexity of your situation, especially with your immigration status, it would be wise to consult with an attorney who has experience in both immigration law and domestic violence cases. They can offer specific advice and help you navigate the legal system to ensure your safety and well-being.
Remember, your safety and well-being are paramount. Don't hesitate to seek out the help and resources that are available to you.
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