Domestic Violence and Trauma: Abused Child's Self I-360 Petition Approved
August 30, 2023

Table of ContenTS

We will share a case where an abused child of a U.S. citizen parent successfully received her I-360 approval.

The client was a minor when her mother married her stepfather, a U.S. citizen. Her stepfather submitted a marriage-based green card application for the client's mother and her. However, the applications were not approved due to the mother's previous immigration violation. Observing the violence from the stepfather against his mother had a traumatic effect on our client. With the help of our office, the client made a self-petition based on family violence, which got approved after two years.

Immigration law allows children who are abused by lawful permanent residents or citizens to apply for a green card based on domestic violence. Most of the time, domestic violence green card applicants are victim spouses, and the victim spouses can include their children on their I-360 petitions. Once approved, the children can adjust their status. However, under certain circumstances, if the parent's I-360 cannot be approved, his or her child will also not benefit from the parent's application. For example, the parent cannot show good moral character.

According to US immigration law, abused child applicants need to be unmarried and under 21 years old, including:

  • Biological children
  • Adopted children
  • Children born out of wedlock
  • Stepchildren (the parent and the stepparent must marry before the 18-years-old birthday of the child, or the adoption happens before the 16-years-old birthday of the child)

If an applicant’s application is delayed because of abuses, he or she can also make a self-petition before turning 25 years old.

Children applicants do not need to reside in the US when submitting applications. Nor does he or she need to live together with the abusive parent. However, he or she must have a history of living together with an abusive parent.

Besides protecting victim spouses, US immigration law also protects children affected by domestic violence. If you are facing similar problems, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Sabrina Li.

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