New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Domestic Violence And Asylum

Author: US Asylum Lawyer Alena Shautsova

Very often, the laws of the foreign countries do not protect women- victims of domestic violence. If the acts of violence and abuse happened in the US, the protections afforded are quite strong and vary from Orders of Protection to possibility of receiving VAWA based green card, or a U visa. However, may a person experiencing domestic violence in their home country qualify for asylum in the US?

The answer is: IT DEPENDS. If a person who experienced domestic violence may demonstrate that she belongs to a certain social group, which the government does not afford protection due to some specific criteria (for example married Muslim women in certain countries) and the violence and other acts of abuse are severe enough to amount to persecution, a person may have a viable asylum claim.

Quite often, women – victims of domestic violence are also the ones who oppose the dominating political views regarding treatment of women and equality. As such, those women will also qualify for asylum based on “political opinion” criteria.

But how will the domestic violence victim qualify for asylum from their home country? They need to demonstrate that their own government is unable or unwilling to protect them; or that the government itself though its agents is causing harm to such victims based on their relation to a social group or political opinion.

It is not easy to understand the Asylum laws and often, applicants who proceed without a lawyer make small mistakes that may cost them their status. The presentation is very, very important.

If you have immigration concerns, consult an experienced New York immigration lawyer at 917-885-2261 and find out about your options.

03 December 2012
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