Domestic violence can have significant immigration consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator.
For the victim, domestic violence may be a basis for obtaining legal immigration status, such as through the U visa or the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petition. These forms of relief are available to victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence, who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement in investigating or prosecuting the crime.
For the perpetrator, a conviction for domestic violence may result in inadmissibility or deportability under immigration law. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a conviction for a “crime of domestic violence” renders a non-citizen inadmissible to the United States and removable from the United States. A “crime of domestic violence” is defined as any crime that involves the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon against a person with whom the offender has a “domestic relationship,” such as a spouse or partner.
It is important to note that a non-citizen does not need to be convicted of a crime of domestic violence to be subject to immigration consequences. Immigration authorities may also initiate removal proceedings based on evidence of domestic violence, even if the person has not been convicted of a crime.
Additionally, even if a domestic violence conviction does not render a non-citizen inadmissible or removable, it may still impact their ability to obtain or maintain legal immigration status. For example, a domestic violence conviction may make obtaining lawful permanent residence or naturalization difficult, as immigration authorities may view the conviction as evidence of poor moral character.
Overall, domestic violence can have significant immigration consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator.
MULTIPLE ENTRIES TO THE UNITED STATES
The permanent bar, also known as the “permanent bar to admission,” is a provision of U.S. immigration law that permanently bars individuals from entering the United States if they have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than one year and then leave the country. Specifically, under INA § 212(a)(9)(C)(i)(I), individuals who accrue more than one year of unlawful presence in the U.S. and then depart are barred from returning to the U.S. for a period of ten years. They are permanently barred from admission if they attempt to re-enter the U.S. during those ten years.
The consequences of the permanent bar can be severe, as it effectively bars individuals from returning to the U.S. for any reason, including work, study, or family reunification. Additionally, permanently barred individuals may be ineligible for many forms of relief from removal, such as cancellation of removal or asylum.
It is important to note that the permanent bar only applies to individuals unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than one year and then depart the country. Individuals who have been unlawfully present for less than one year may be subject to a three-year or ten-year bar, depending on the length of their unlawful presence.
It is also important to note that multiple entries into the U.S. after being unlawfully present can have significant immigration consequences, even if they do not result in a permanent bar. Under INA § 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II), individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days and then depart and who subsequently re-enter the U.S. illegally are barred from returning to the U.S. for a period of three years. If they re-enter illegally after that three-year period, they are barred from returning for ten years.
Overall, the permanent bar and multiple entries after being unlawfully present can have significant immigration consequences.