Domestic Violence

New Policy Allows Battered Spouses Of Non-immigrants To Work

A new USCIS Policy, which actually serves as an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), expands eligibility for employment authorization to battered/abused spouses of certain non-immigrants.  The nonimmigrant visas applicable to INA section 106 employment authorization eligibility are: A-1, A-2, and A-3: Foreign government diplomats and officials and immediate family members and their attendants, servants, and personal employees;

E-3: Australian specialty occupation workers; G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, and G-5: Employees of foreign governments and international organizations and immediate family members and their attendants, servants, and personal employees; and H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, H-4: Specialty occupation workers, Free Trade Agreement professionals from Chile and Singapore, temporary agricultural and non-agricultural workers, trainees and special education exchange visitors, and immediate family members of specialty occupation workers.

At the time of initial filing for employment authorization under INA section 106, credible evidence must be submitted to establish that the applicant resides in the United States and that the applicant has been a victim of extreme cruelty/abuse, perpetrated by the principal nonimmigrant spouse.

The Shulman Law Group, LLC applauds this new policy which empowers and protects immigrant victims of spousal abuse who are oft-times embroiled in the lengthy process of obtaining work authorization, which oft-times results in prolonged exposure to further harm, coercion, dependency, and retaliation.  Our New Jersey Immigration Law firm has been dedicated to helping both male and female victims of domestic abuse with their immigration cases.  Although the Act is called Violence Against Women, we have provided immigration counsel to many immigrant males who have been exposed to mental or physical cruelty by their female spouses.  Not only does our firm assist in filing the appropriate documentation, but we help our clients write their personal affidavits, make recommendations about obtaining evidentiary proofs, and facilitate psychological evaluations to document the clinical consequences of abuse.  We are now delighted to be able to assist abused spouses of non-immigrants in applying for employment authorization to increase their professional and financial independence in the United States.