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Immigration Relief for Survivors of Domestic Abuse, Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking, and Other Crimes

A Violence Against Women Act 2005 Update

By Joanne C. Lin, Leslye Orloff & Ericka Echavarria

By protecting immigrants subjected to abuse by family members, the Violence Against Women Act allows survivors of domestic violence to seek legal residence in the United States. Amendments passed by Congress and signed into law by the president in 2005 build on those protections by expanding the categories of domestic survivors eligible to self-petition for permanent residence status and obtain other forms of immigration relief.

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