16 Dec Form I-360 Self-Petition Approved for Battered Husband
The Violence Against Women Act authorized immigrants to self-petition using Form I-360 if they are a battered spouse married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Further, unmarried children under the age of 21, who have not filed their own self-petition, may be included in the petition as derivative beneficiaries. The I-360 self-petition is much more commonly used by battered women who have suffered severe abuse by their U.S. citizen husbands. Our client, on the other hand, is a man who was abused by his U.S. citizen wife. While the USCIS should not apply a different legal standard, or standard of proof, to men who file battered spouse petitions, many believe that it is considerably easier to prevail where the battered spouse petition is filed by a woman. We evidenced our client’s abuse by submitting a lengthy, chronological affidavit that set forth each instance of his abuse over the past two years of his marriage. We also provided thorough evidence to support his affidavit, including medical records, where applicable, and detailed affidavits of friends and family members who witnessed or were aware of various instances of the abuse. This case is also unique in that our client entered the U.S. without inspection. Generally, immigrants who entered without inspection (EWI) may only apply for green cards through a special law known as 245(i), a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that authorized certain immigrants to adjust their status where a petition was filed prior to April 30, 2001. However, recent guidance from the USCIS indicates that battered spouse petitions may be filed along with applications for adjustment of status even for immigrants who entered the U.S. without inspection. Some immigration lawyers may still be unaware of this development. This issue had remained unresolved for many years prior to an authoritative memorandum that established the current precedent. Expect an update on this case after our client attends his adjustment of status interview.