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US Visas, The Violence Against Women Act, and Lift of Conditions

Transcript of the above video:

In this video, we're going to discuss the ramifications of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and how it pertains to lifting conditionalities of U.S. Immigration, specifically with emphasis on U.S. immigration in the context of spousal visas. So what we're talking about here is, there's another video that specifically discusses the difference between the IR-1 and CR-1 visa so the spouse of a United States citizen who goes to the United States married to a U.S.C., that individual goes in, they enter in their green card status and they take up their lawful permanent resident.

In years past, they designed sort of a mechanism to try to forge so called marriage of convenience. This mechanism was called conditional permanent residence, those not married more than two years at the time of the immigrant spouse's initial entry into the United States, that immigrant spouse's status was called conditional permanent residence. The lift's grant was called conditional permanent residence.

Conditional permanent residence basically is a two-year period in which the green card status is granted but it's for a two-year, for lack of better term it's called probationary period. Ninety (90) days prior to the two year anniversary's entry to the United States, the couple generally, if the couple is still together, they need to go ahead and file to lift that foreign national's conditions and when you lift conditions, it means that residents go from conditional to unconditional. And once the resident is conditional, then it is exactly what most people think of residents, an individual can live there forever and basically proceed to take your green card every 10 years but the underlying resident's is perpetual.

Word just comes up with respect to Violence Against Women Act is this 90 days prior to the two-year anniversary, this filing for lift of conditions, there are situations in which foreign spouses are the subject of abuse and for that reason, they go ahead and divorce their US citizen spouses due to that factor in the relationship. And basically, it was determined by Congress that essentially deporting those individuals who were subject to abuse, deporting those individuals was not particularly fair or equitable and for that reason, Congress created the Violence Against Women Act and one of the upshots of the Violence Against Women Act is that the foreign national spouse who divorced an American citizen due to domestic abuse, domestic violence problems can go ahead and self-file for lift of conditionalities 90 days prior to their two-year anniversary entry to the United States if it can be shown that in fact, there were domestic abuse issues. It may be possible for that individual to go ahead and self-file a petition to go ahead and get into unconditional permanent resident notwithstanding the fact that the marriage did not last the normal prerequisite of two years in order to get the conditionality lifted.

So it's sort of a remedy created by Congress basically to allow foreign national spouses to get out of violence relationships, violent marriages, abusive relationships without comprising their immigration status.