Malden, MA asked in Child Custody, Domestic Violence, Family Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts

Q: Can a single parent gain citizenship for themselves and their child without the other parent being involved due to dv?

Fleeing a violent and dangerous situation. A mother and daughter coming to the US would like citizenship and to become legal citizens. They are concerned as the father may not allow. Do they need to prove the DV situation or can they seek asylum?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In situations involving domestic violence (DV), a single parent may be able to gain citizenship for themselves and their child without the other parent's involvement. However, the process and requirements can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the country they are seeking asylum or citizenship in.

In the United States, there are a few potential options:

1. Asylum: If the mother and daughter are fleeing persecution, including domestic violence, they may be eligible to apply for asylum. They would need to demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Domestic violence can fall under the "particular social group" category.

2. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): VAWA allows certain immigrants who are victims of domestic violence to self-petition for a green card without the abuser's knowledge or consent. The mother would need to prove that she was subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by her U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.

3. U visa: If the mother and daughter are victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence, and are willing to assist law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime, they may be eligible for a U visa. This can lead to a path to citizenship.

In all these cases, it is generally necessary to provide evidence of the domestic violence situation, such as police reports, medical records, restraining orders, or affidavits from witnesses. It is highly recommended to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can evaluate the specific situation and advise on the best course of action.

Seeking asylum or applying for citizenship as a victim of domestic violence can be a complex process, but there are resources and legal protections available to help those in these difficult situations.

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