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Domestic Violence and Applications for Fiancée and Marriage Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests we are discussing certain aspects of domestic violence and how it can have an impact on those who are subsequently seeking fiancée or marriage visas for their subsequent or just generally, their fiancée or spouse to the United States.

What we talking about here? Well in other videos we discussed criminal history generally and how it may or may not impact those who are seeking fiancée visas and marriage visas to the United States but in this video we are discussing, more specifically we are going to drill down further on domestic violence specifically. Now to their credit and they go out of their way to assiduously deal with the matter, the immigration apparatus that operates in the United States in terms of both Department of Homeland Security as well as Department of State who processes Visa applications abroad, for instance here in Bangkok, Thailand, they take their role very, very seriously especially with respect to possible violence in the household; domestic violence for example. In fact there are various aspects of the Violence Against Women Act that have a direct impact on the immigration process in multiple different ways. The immigration apparatus here at the Embassy here in Bangkok, I have seen them do handouts regarding VAWA and the statutory implications springing there from.

But the thing to take away from this video is you should know first of all, those who have a history of domestic violence as a policy matter may not be individuals that the immigration apparatus wishes to encourage to go ahead and bring someone to the United States who is a foreign spouse or fiancée so from that standpoint you have to kind of generate your logic tree from there, for lack of a better term. 

The thing to take away from this is first of all a conviction for domestic violence may not necessarily be the threshold that specifically applies with respect to immigration. Prior arrest stemming from a domestic violence matter or even lack of arrest but just for example certain  evidence that taken in the aggregate would lead one to possibly believe, at least in a circumstantial way, that domestic violence occurred. This could have an impact on one's ability to go ahead and seek a fiancée or marriage visa. Again it is going to depend on context greatly so those who are watching this video and interested in the topic are well-advised to contact a legal professional before making any irrevocable decisions with respect to immigration especially like paying fees etc. as they may not even be eligible to file for certain fiancée or marriage visa benefits in the first place. As noted there are statutory rules under the Violence Against Women Act that have a specific impact on the immigration process. We have done other videos on this channel with respect to that but as I said, authorities within the immigration apparatus in certain ways I won't say lax, but immaterial issues are not something they're not going to get too bent out of shape about. I mean they do want to see forms filled out correctly and my properly and filed correctly but if you know a name is misspelled somewhere or something they are not going to get bent out of shape about that; the name of the town or something, there is a typo it is not going to cause any great consternation. VAWA, the Act itself as well as domestic violence matters in the context of fiancée and spousal immigration, IS something that the apparatus considers very material and I think that they are very assiduous in their application not only of the law but in scrutinizing the factual situation behind the case and undertaking their job in such a way to make certain that there is both equity and the processing of the case adheres to all aspects of the law as it applies to the immigration role.