Domestic Violence Victim Secures Immigration Remedy

May 19, 2010

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented Ms. V, a citizen of a Caribbean country, in her application for U Nonimmigrant Status (known as a “U Visa”). U Visas are available to certain crime victims who assist police and prosecutors in bringing perpetrators to justice. Ms. V has lived in the United States for over 15 years and has U.S. citizen children.

Ms. V suffered severe physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her partner, who also abused one of her children. After Ms. V secured a protective order covering her and her children, her abuser continued to harass and intimidate her, prompting her to seek help from the police. She cooperated with the subsequent prosecution of her abuser. He was sentenced to time in prison and ordered to stay away from Ms. V and the abused child.

Ms. V qualified for the U Visa on the basis of her status as a victim of a qualifying crime – domestic violence – and her related cooperation with law enforcement, which was attested to by the Bronx DA’s office. Securing a U Visa means that Ms. V is now able to live and work legally in the United States. Moreover, in three years, she will be eligible to apply for adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident (i.e., get a green card) and eventually to naturalize and become a U.S. citizen.