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Many immigrants are hesitant to acknowledge they have been the victim of a crime, partly because they worry they will be deported from the United States if they do so. Legal and illegal immigrants who have been victims of crime are afforded certain protections under US law. Domestic violence victims, victims of certain crimes, and victims of human trafficking all have special safeguards.

  • Regardless of your legal status in the United States, if you are a victim of domestic violence (see Domestic Violence), you have a right to safety. You might believe that if you are being abused, you have no right to call the police, but this is not the case.

  • When you report domestic violence to the police, it is their responsibility to protect you from your abuser. They are not allowed to notify ICE that you are in the country illegally.

  • If you are terrified of your abuser or believe they will harm you, you can seek a restraining order from the court or the police (see Abuse Prevention Orders).

  • If you are a victim of domestic violence and do not have legal status in the United States, you should seek the assistance of immigration lawyers and advocates.

  • There are regulations that can help you get legal status in the United States if you are a victim or survivor of domestic violence. 

  • Violence Against Women Act: The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted to protect victims of domestic violence, and it includes special provisions for those who do not have legal status in the United States. Domestic violence victims, including men and children, are protected by VAWA.

Our advocates are here to listen without passing judgment and to assist you begin to address the issues in your life by referring you to the appropriate resources. Our services are low-cost or free if you are a new immigrant who has been abused and requires immigration processing.

On our helpline reference list, you'll find various crisis hotlines such as the National Elder Abuse Hotline and the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Find the OVC Help in Your State

Search thousands of programs in our Directory of Crime Victim Services to locate victim services in the United States and other countries Here

How Do I Cancel My Husband’s or Wife’s Green Card?

​The process for canceling a visa petition differs depending on how far the application has progressed through the immigration system.

  • If the I-130 is still pending with USCIS, the petitioner can normally withdraw the I-130 by sending a signed, notarized letter to the location where the case is pending.

  • If the I-130 has already been authorized and the case is still pending at the National Visa Center (NVC), the petitioner must tell the NVC that he or she desires to withdraw the underlying petition as described above.

  • If the I-130 has already been accepted and the case has been sent from the National Visa Center to the US embassy, you must write to the US consulate to organize an interview. Obviously, the petitioner should tell the consulate of his or her want to withdraw the petition before the scheduled interview. Notification should be made in the same fashion as the previous two procedures, by way of a signed and notarized written letter.

  • Whether or not an I-130 or I-485 petition has already been authorized, reversing it can be difficult. You should seek the assistance of one of our expert immigration lawyers to ensure that your cancellation goes successfully.

Can a Petitioner Cancel a Green Card?

Once a green card has been approved, it is significantly more difficult to revoke it. Fraudulent action would have to be demonstrated after an immigrant has been granted full citizenship in the United States. Both the immigrant and the applicant may face fines if fraudulent behaviour is confirmed.

How to Cancel a Green Card?

If you no longer live in the United States or have changed your permanent residence status, you can revoke your own green card. If you are convinced that this is the right decision for you, you can fill out an I-407 to terminate your Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status, which is irreversible. However, you are not permitted to cancel the green card of another person. If you try to do so, you will be charged with fraud and may face deportation.

What can I do if I was used for a green card?

​If you suspect your ex is attempting to obtain a green card through you, you should contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Obtaining a green card through a forged marriage is a federal crime. It could result in your ex's deportation. Also, if you willingly cooperated in the deception to help the immigrant obtain a green card, you could face penalties. From the sounds of it, you were not a voluntary participant, thus you should be fine.

U and T Visa Certifications

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 established two types of visas for crime victims:

      U nonimmigrant visas

  • Intended for immigrant victims of crime who have suffered physical or mental injury stemming from criminal activity. 

  • If granted, the immigrant victim receives a legal immigration visa and work authorization which may lead to lawful permanent residency. 

  • Covers victims of a wide range of crimes including victims of domestic violence currently not covered under the VAWA provisions and also victims of incest, sexual assault, rape, female genital mutilation and a number of other crimes.

  • To be eligible, immigrant victim must:

  • Have information about the crime.
    Be willing to cooperate with the investigation or prosecution.

  • Have suffered physical or psychological trauma.

  • VAWA 2000 created additional relief for immigrant victims of crime. One of the important innovations to come out of VAWA 2000 was the creation of the U visa. The U visa is a crime victim visa, given to immigrant victims of certain types of crime. The crimes covered under the U visa include:
    Abduction, Unlawful criminal restraint, False imprisonment

  • Extortion, manslaughter, perjury, any similar activity in violation of federal, state or local law, blackmail, witness tampering obstruction of justice, attempt, conspiracy or solicitation to commit any of the above crimes, rape, torture, Incest, trafficking, domestic violence, Sexual assault, abusive sexual conduct, prostitution, sexual exploitation female genital cutting, being held hostage, peonage, Involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping.

      T nonimmigrant visas: 

  • Applies to victims who have been trafficked into the U.S. for labor or commercial sex purposes. Victims must be willing to cooperate with the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

  • If granted, the immigrant victim will receive a legal immigration visa, access to public benefits and work authorization, which may lead to lawful residency permanent

100% of your donation will go directly to helping victims families deal with the consequences of crimes and trauma such as domestic violence, fires, killings, and sexual assault, as well as the immigration process.

There are many meaningful ways you can assist Immigrant Victim Assistance Program and help make a profound impact