LANC Battered Immigrant Project  Battered Immigrant Project (BIP)
    A special statewide project of Legal Aid of NC

    1-866-204-7612 (toll-free), Intake on Thursdays, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

 
Domestic violence is a pervasive problem among North Carolina’s immigrant population, just as it is among U.S. citizens.  Battered immigrants need legal assistance in order to navigate the complex maze of immigration laws that change on a regular basis. 

About us...

Through the Battered Immigrant Project (BIP), Legal Aid of North Carolina's Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI) also provides comprehensive and culturally appropriate legal services to immigrant survivors of violence needing assistance with immigration.  The BIP represents qualifying applicants across the state of North Carolina in immigration matters including:

    Self-Petitions and Petitions to Remove Conditions on Residency
      under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
    U Visas for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and
      human trafficking
    T Visas for victims of human trafficking
    Deportation defense for qualifying victims of domestic violence,
      sexual assault and human trafficking.

As domestic violence experts, LANC's BIP attorneys are in a unique position to assist immigrant victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking with these types of cases.

Due to the constantly changing and regulatory nature of immigration law, it is necessary to have specially trained immigration attorneys as part of the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative corps of attorneys.  Although there may be several paths for an undocumented battered immigrant to potentially obtain legal immigration status, it is extremely challenging to acquire immigration status without the assistance of an attorney.

BIP attorneys work with domestic violence and immigrant rights advocates across the state to provide them with information about the rights of battered immigrants.  Through the DVPI, staff in local LANC offices, as resources allow, represent immigrant survivors in legal matters such as:

    Domestic Violence Protective Orders
    Family Law issues
    Public Benefits
    Housing issues.
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

(Click here to read disclaimer)

  •  What types of immigration cases does LANC handle?
       LANC´s Battered Immigrant Project provides immigration assistance  to immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and/or human trafficking in the United States.
     

  •  I am/was married to a US citizen or a legal permanent resident, but I have been a victim of domestic violence and my abusive spouse will not help me with immigration.  What can I do?
       Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to file a self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) without any help from your spouse.  In order to self-petition, you must prove that you are married to a US citizen or legal permanent resident, that you married your spouse in good faith, that you have resided with your spouse in the United States, that you have been physically abused or subjected to extreme mental cruelty by your spouse, and that you have good moral character.  This remedy would allow you to remain in the US, apply for work authorization, become eligible for some public benefits, and eventually get a “green card,” which is a card that indicates that you have become a legal permanent resident.  For more detailed information about VAWA, please visit http://www.womenslaw.org/immigrantsVAWA.htm.
     

  •  I am a conditional resident of the United States (i.e., I have a green card that expires in two years.), but my US citizen spouse has abused me and will not help me file the petition to remove the conditions on my residence.  What can I do?
       Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to file for a waiver of the joint filing requirement to remove the conditions on your residence.  In order to qualify for a waiver of the joint filing requirement based on being abused by your spouse, you have to prove that you are a conditional resident, that you married your husband in good faith, and that you have been physically abused or subjected to extreme mental cruelty by your husband.
     

  •  I am married to an undocumented person who has committed a crime of domestic violence against me, and I have suffered as a result of being a victim of this crime.  What can I do?
       Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for a U-Visa (also called Crime Victim Visa) to remain in the US, get work authorization, and possibly get a “green card” later on.  To qualify for a U visa, you have to prove that a crime of domestic violence was committed against you, that you suffered substantially as a result of being a victim of this crime, and that you have cooperated, are cooperating, or will cooperate with the authorities in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime.  In order to apply for a U visa, you also have to obtain a certification from law enforcement confirming that you were a crime victim and that you have cooperated in the criminal investigation or prosectuion.  For more detailed information about U-Visas, please visit http://www.womenslaw.org/immigrantsUvisa.htm.
     

  •  I have been a victim of a crime of domestic violence committed by my boyfriend, not my spouse? Can I still qualify for a U visa?
       In order to qualify for a U-visa, you do not have to be married to the person who committed the crime of domestic violence against you.
     

  •  I came to the United States for a specific job, but when I arrived the job was not what I thought it would be. I am being paid less than expected, I work more hours than I thought I would, and I don't have the freedom to work somewhere else. I cannot leave the job because my employer has threatened me and my family with physical harm if I try to leave.  What can I do?
       [See response below on "T-Visa" (also called a "Trafficking Victims Visa)"]
     

  •  I came to the United States to join my husband, but when I got here, instead of wanting me to be his wife, he wanted me to work in his house as his servant. I am not allowed to leave the house and I am scared that he will report me to immigration. He will not file immigration papers for me. What can I do?
       [See response below on "T-Visa" (also called a "Trafficking Victims Visa)"]
     

  •  I paid someone to bring me to the United States so that I could go to school. When I got here, the person who arranged everything for me said that I owed him more money and forced me to have sex for money in order to pay him back. He said that I couldn't leave until I paid him back. What can I do?
       Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to a apply for a T-Visa (also called a Trafficking Victims Visa) to remain in the US, get work authorization, some public benefits, and possibly a "green card" later on.  A person is considered to be a victim of human trafficking if he or she provided labor or sexual services for profit because he or she has been threatened, intimidated, misled or physically forced to do so. To qualify for a T-visa, you have to prove that you are a victim of a severe form of human trafficking; that you are in the United States because of being trafficked; that you have complied with any reasonable request for assistance from law enforcement; and that you would suffer if you were removed from the US. For more detailed information about T-Visas, please click here.
     

  •  Will a LANC attorney help me with a VAWA self-petition (I-360), Petition to Remove Conditions on my Residence (I-751), U-Visa or T-Visa?
       LANC BIP attorneys assist eligible clients with VAWA self-petitions (I-360), Petitions to Remove Conditions (I-751), U-Visas, T-Visas, Applications to Adjust Status (I-485) and Applications for Work Authorization (I-765).  For more information or to request that an attorney represent you in one of these matters, please call our toll-free line, 1-866-204-7612.  If your case is assigned to an attorney, you will be sent forms that you will need to sign and return.  These will include a retainer agreement and a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) form that will allow LANC to request a copy of anything that USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) already has on file related to your case.  LANC attorneys may not be able to start your case immediately due to a backlog of cases; however, returning the FOIA and retainer agreement promptly will allow your attorney to begin gathering information needed for your case right away. You may also be sent a list of documents that help support a VAWA self-petition.  You should begin gathering any of these documents that are available to you.
     

  •  Can the LANC BIP help me with another type of immigration case, other than the ones listed above?
       If you are an agricultural worker who has become a temporary resident alien or an H-2 worker and have problems with your employer, you should contact the LANC Farmworker’s Unit.  If you are seeking assistance with asylum, temporary protected status, family-based petitions, naturalization or other types of immigration cases that Legal Aid may not handle, please visit the North Carolina Justice Center website (http://www.ncjustice.org) and review the information under “Immigrant Rights Issues.”  Another useful website may be the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis).
     

  •  I am an immigrant victim of domestic violence and I want to obtain a domestic violence protective order and/or custody of my minor children.  Can the LANC BIP help me with these matters?
       Through our Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative (DVPI), attorneys in LANC’s local offices provide legal representation to qualifying applicants in domestic violence protective orders and certain family law cases.  To apply for assistance, please contact your local LANC office or call LANC’s Centralized Intake Unit at 1-866-219-LANC (1-866-219-5262).
     

Battered Immigrant Project (BIP) Staff

    TeAndra M. Miller, Esq. DVPI/BIP Project Director (Raleigh Office)
    Rona Karacacova, Esq., BIP Coordinator, (Charlotte Office)
    Jennifer Stuart, Esq., Staff Attorney (Raleigh DVPI Office)
    Saba A Baig, Staff Attorney (
    Raleigh DVPI/BIP Office)
    Amanda B. Raflo Staff Attorney (
    Charlotte Office)
    Kate Shattuck, Jesuit Volunteer (LANC-Farmworker Unit, Raleigh)
    Patricia Harris, Project Litigation Assistant (Raleigh DVPI/BIP Office)

    Contact Information:

    BIP Toll-free Intake Line: 1-866-204-7612,
                                                 Thursdays, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM)
                                                 (English and Spanish)
     

    Charlotte office, Battered Immigrant Project
      1431 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28204
      1-800-738-3868 x 215 (toll-free); Fax: 704-971-0180
     

    Raleigh office, Battered Immigrant Project
     
    224 S. Dawson Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
      1-866-219-5263 (toll-free); Fax: 919-863-1407
     

    Also, click here to find the Legal Aid of NC office nearest you.

     



Disclaimer

The materials contained on this website are for information and educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.  Also please note that Legal Aid of North Carolina does not provide legal assistance by E-mail. Contact your Legal Aid of North Carolina office or a private attorney if you need to speak to an attorney regarding your particular situation.
See our complete disclaimer.

Mission Statement

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity.

 

Back  |  Top