At Gamiño Law Offices, LLC our Waukesha and Milwaukee immigration lawyer is dedicated to assisting families, women, and children escape from domestic violence and stay safely in the United States.  Unfortunately, some people who come to the United States with the hope of creating a better life find themselves in abusive relationships.  When their right to live in the United States is dependent on their spouse's status as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or US Citizen, victims of domestic abuse crimes or sexual violence may be afraid to find help.  Immigrants who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault need to know that help is available from the immigration lawyers in Milwaukee at Gamiño Law Offices, LLC.  We can help you file an I-360 Immigrant Visa Petition for crime victims to remain and work legally in the United States, and we keep you safe by filing without the knowledge of your abusive spouse!
For an initial consultation with Wisconsin immigration lawyers doing their best to help with your immigration issues or concerns us today.  Also visit our immigration law resources page.  We have a Wisconsin attorney available to help with all your other legal needs.

Obtaining an I-360 Immigrant Visa Petition for Victims of Domestic Violence

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Wisconsin Immigration Attorneys Working to End Domestic Violence
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Wisconsin Lawyers Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence
​How to leave an abusive relationship through immigration:
Who is eligible to file an I-360 as a victim of domestic violence?
  •  Spouse:  Spouses may file if you are, or were, the battered or abused spouse of a US citizen or permanent resident.  Your unmarried children under age 21 may also be included in your petition (if they have not filed for themselves).
  • Parent:  Parents may file if your child has been battered or abused by your US citizen or permanent resident spouse.  Your other children may also be included on your petition, even if they have not been abused (if they have not filed for themselves).  Parents of a US citizen may also file if you have been abused by your US citizen son or daughter.
  • Children:  Children may file if you are under age 21, unmarried, and are being or have been battered or abused by your parent who is a US citizen or legal permanent resident.  You may be eligible to file up to age 25 if you can show that your delay in filing was mainly caused by the abuse.

Will my abuser find out about my petition?
As a battered spouse, child or parent your immigrant visa petition can be filed without your abuser's knowledge!  The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), allows victims to find safety and independence from an abuser, who is not notified about the filing.  

What are the eligibility requirements for a spouse to receive an I-360 immigrant visa based on domestic abuse?
​To be eligible as an abused spouse you must:
1.  Have been in one of the following abusive relationships:
  • Married to a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident who is abusive, or
  • Marriage to the abuser ended due to death of your spouse, or divorce related to the abuse, within 2 years prior to filing the petition, or
  • You believed you were legally married to an abusive legal permanent resident or US citizen but, due solely to bigamy of your abusive spouse, the marriage was not legitimate, or
  • ​Your abusive spouse lost or renounced legal permanent residency or citizenship due to and act of domestic violence in the past 2 years.
2.  The abuse must have occurred:​
  • In the United States by your spouse who is a US citizen or legal permanent resident, or 
  • ​Abroad by your spouse who is a US citizen or legal permanent resident, while your spouse was an employee of the United States government or a US uniformed services, or
  • To your child who has been abused by your US citizen spouse or legal permanent resident.
3.  You entered into the marriage in good faith.
4.  You have resided with your spouse.
5.  You have good moral character.​

What are the eligibility requirements for a child to receive an I-360 immigrant visa based on domestic violence?
​To be eligible as an abused child you must:
1.  Be the child of:
  • An abusive legal permanent resident or US citizen, or 
  • An abusive parent who lost citizenship or lawful permanent resident due to an act of domestic violence.
2.  The abuse must have occurred:
  • In the United States by your US citizen or legal permanent resident parent.
  • Abroad by your US citizen or legal permanent resident parent while your parent was an employee of the United States government or a member of the US uniformed services.
3.  Have resided with your abusive parent.
4.  Be able to prove your relationship to your parent.
5.  If over age 14, you must provide evidence of good moral character.

What are the eligibility requirements for a parent to receive an I-360 immigrant visa for relief from being a crime victim?
​To be eligible as a parent you must:
1.  Be the parent of of a US citizen who died or lost citizenship due to an
     incident of domestic violence within 2 years prior to filing.
2.  Have been abused by your US citizen child.
3.  Have resided with your US citizen child who abused you.
4.  Be a person of good moral character.

What is the filing process to receive an I-360?
  • ​Complete an I-360 Petition for Amerasion, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant; and all required documents of support.
  • ​File the petition in the Vermont Service Center

What happens after I file my I-360?
  • If all of the filing requirements have been met, you will receive a Prima Facie Determination Notice that will be valid for 150 days.  This notice may be used to obtain public benefits from government agencies for certain victims of domestic violence.  The notice is valid for 150 days.  
  • When your petition is approved, if you do not have legal immigration status in the United States, USCIS may place you in deferred action which allows you to stay in the United States.

Will I be eligible to work legally in United States if I receive an I-360 immigrant visa?
  • Once your I-360 has been approved and you have been placed in deferred action you may apply to work legally in the United States using the I-765 Application for Employment Authorization form.  The I-756 application must be filed in the Vermont Service Center.  
  • Children included in your I-360 petition who are otherwise eligible to work in the United States may also apply for work authorization.

Will I be eligible for Permanent Residence (Green Card)?
Once your I-360 petition has been approved you may be eligible to apply for your green card.  Children included in your approved I-360 p​etition may also be eligible to apply.  

Additional resources: victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence:

National Domestic Violence Hotline  

National Sexual Assault Hotline

National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

CDC Injury Center:  Violence Prevention

Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault

​Sojourner Family Peace Center (Milwaukee)

Sojourner Truth House (Milwaukee)

Task Force on Family Violence (Milwaukee)

UMOS Latina Resource Center (Milwaukee)

Hope House (Milwaukee) 

Family Support Center (Milwaukee)

Women's Crisis Line/Milwaukee Women's Center

Pathfinders Youth Shelter (Milwaukee)

Guest House (Milwaukee)

The Cathedral Center (Milwaukee)

Salvation Army Emergency Lodge (Milwaukee)

Joy House (Milwaukee)

Safe Harbor (Milwaukee)

Casa Maria (Milwaukee)

La Causa (Milwaukee)

Daystar (Milwaukee)

People Against Domestic Abuse (Jefferson)

WoMen and Children's Horizons/Pathways of Courage (Kenosha)

Advocates of Ozaukee (Ozaukee County)

Women's Resource Center (Racine)

Association for the Prevention of Family Violence (Walworth)

Friends of Abused Families (Washington County)

The Women's Center Inc. (Waukesha)

Escape Domestic Violence through United States Immigration with help from Skilled Attorneys
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