What are the three unexpected ways to get a green card and become a legal permanent resident? I'm going to share with you some of the top three ways that you may be able to get a green card and petition for yourself and not even require the help of a family member to sponsor you. Many immigrants can qualify for these green cards, but they simply never apply because they never even knew that they were eligible in the first place.
So listen carefully to each one, because you might find out that you're eligible and you might be able to get yourself a green card.
The first unexpected way you might be able to get a green card is if you have ever been mistreated by your U.S. citizen or green card holding spouse. And when I say be mistreated by your spouse, I'm not talking about your spouse actually putting their hands on you.
I'm talking about those instances where your spouse might yell at you. They might try to control what you spend your money on. They might even call you insulting names or they might even make fun of you for being an immigrant and not knowing the English language.
There might even be instances where your spouse checks your phone, asks for your passwords to see who you've been talking to and even criticize you or forbid you from talking to your own family members.
Your spouse might even mistreat you by not actually helping you a file for your green card or taking too long to get you the documents that you need in order to file your case. And lastly, your spouse might mistreat you by threatening to call immigration on you and get you to support it or to call police on you and have you arrested.
If you have ever been treated this way by your spouse and you are still without a green card. You may be eligible to file by yourself and get a green card without their help. If you are still married, this case can work for you. And even if you are divorced, this case may still work for you as long as your divorce is not more than two years old.
This program is called VAWA. Most people think that VAWA applies only to women, but this is simply not true. VAWA is for anyone who has been in a marriage to a U.S. citizen or to green card holder who has experienced any of the mistreatment that I have just spoken to you about. As long as you were treated unfairly during your marriage, you may qualify for VAWA.
You can file for a VAWA by submitting the form I-360 along with the required documents to USCIS. If you do a good job in explaining how your spouse mistreated you, then you will get approved. You don't always need a lot of evidence or any evidence for this case. However, a well detailed statement from you to detail and document what you went through is extremely important.
The second unexpected way to get a green card by yourself is if your employer mistreats you. There are all kinds of ways that this can qualify you to adjust your status. Maybe your employer makes you work overtime and doesn't pay you properly, or maybe they say that they will pay you a certain wage, but at the end of the day, you end up getting paid a lot less than what they promised you.
Maybe your employer makes you work long hours without allowing you to take a bathroom break or leave the premises until something is done. Maybe your employer takes a really long time to pay you staying for weeks or sometimes even months that they will pay you, that they will pay you, but just not yet. And maybe when you actually receive the pay, it's less than what you originally agreed to get.
Maybe your employer also promises to give you a place to live as part of the job. However, they end up deducting the rent from your paycheck and you never even agreed to that. This type of treatment can qualify for something that is called the T-Visa.
The T-Visa is a pathway to getting a green card and work permit all by yourself.
The reason why it's so important to know about this is that so many immigrants across the United States have suffered exactly this type of mistreatment, but never even knew that this may entitle them to file for immigration benefits. You can file for a T-Visa by submitting the form I-914 along with the required documents to USCIS.
In addition to getting your work permit, it makes you eligible to file for a green card after three years and eventually become a U.S. citizen. And most importantly, your family members may be able to get T status as well, including your spouse and your children, even if they did not suffer trafficking themselves. If you want to learn more about T-Visas, make sure to watch my video on the Ultimate Guide to T-Visas.
The third unexpected way that you may be able to get a green card by yourself is something that most people never even imagine. This involves if you were treated like a servant in your relationship and this does not require you to be married to a U.S. citizen or to a green card holder, or to be even married at all.
As I mentioned in this case, your partner or your spouse or your boyfriend or girlfriend or fiancee, does not need to be a U.S. citizen or a green card holder. You can qualify for this case if the person that you were with did such things as force you to do all of the housework or watch their children or other children without compensating you, get angry if you do not have the meals cooked on time or the laundry done in a certain way, become physically violent with you when you do not do the chores around the house, force you to go to work and force you to hand over the money that you earn to them.
Believe it or not, these types of treatments can qualify you to file for a visa by yourself and be put on the pathway to citizenship. And this qualifies for a T-Visa even if this person is not technically your employer. Because the key that we are looking at is whether this person forced you to provide services to them.
If you think that you may qualify for any of these cases for a T-Visa or for a VAWA, the first step is to talk to a qualified immigration attorney who understands the nuances of these cases. You will want to get help from an experienced immigration attorney before even applying. Most people will need help in preparing the evidence for these cases.
I have successfully helped hundreds of immigrants file for a VAWA and for T-Visas across the United States. If you would like to find out whether you qualify, please give our office a call at 212-248-7907.
And if you want to learn more about T-Visas make sure to watch my Ultimate Guide on T-Visas. In this video, I'll explain what a T-Visa is, who may qualify, and how to apply, and what you can do in order to increase your chances of getting approved. I'll include a link to that video here. Click to watch this video next, and I'll see you there.