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lysander

Conditional resident wife is using restraining order to qualify for VAWA

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Hi, I'm a US citizen husband of a Filipina who came in on a K-1 visa and then adjusted her status and became a conditional resident. After I was unemployed for four months, she moved out, complaining that I wasn't giving her the kind of life that she wanted. She started sending me a bunch of texts calling me irresponsible, immature, etc. Then several months later she started begging me for money to hire a lawyer to get a divorce, but I didn't have any money.

 

Today, she took out a temporary restraining order against me, and I can tell that her goal is to qualify for VAWA, since she begins her restraining order application by writing, "I am married to . . . in good faith that the marriage will last long but days go by he started to sexually abusing me" which to me seems like language tailored toward supporting her petition for removal of conditions. What I think is going on is that she doesn't have enough money to get a divorce, and she doesn't think I'm going to help her get her conditions removed (given that we're separated), so now she sees the VAWA route as her only way to stay in the country.

 

Anyway, I was wondering, if she gets a permanent restraining order, will that go a long way in supporting her VAWA bid? Does USCIS pretty much accept a permanent restraining order as definitive proof that abuse justifying a VAWA petition happened? I'm partly wondering because my mom signed an affidavit of support, and while I think my wife is eventually going to try to naturalize, it would let us off the hook sooner if she would just get deported. Thanks.

Edited by lysander

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If you do not plan to stay married, you should file for divorce and let her figure out the immigration side of things on her own.  In most states, you can file on your own.  What she plans or does not plan to do, we can't guess. 

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~Moved from Removing Conditions on Residency to Effects of Major Family Changes where similar topics are discussed~

VJ Moderation


 

 



07/09/2008: F-1 Interview - Successful
05/01/2013: (L) Married (L)

AOS from F-1:
07/09/2013: AOS package (I-130/I-485/I-756/I-131) fedexed
09/25/2013: AOS Interview with my husband at Milwaukee, WI
03/03/2014: AOS Approved

I-751 Removal of Conditions:

11/13/2015: Received reminder notice dated 11/08 from USCIS to apply for ROC
Day 00 - 12/04/2015: Mailed I-751 package to CSC via USPS Priority Mail
Day 03 - 12/07/2015: I-751 package delivered
Day 05 - 12/09/2015: Check cashed
Day 07 - 12/11/2015: NOA1 received dated 12/07/15
Day 22 - 12/26/2015: Biometric appointment notice received dated 12/19/15
Day 35 - 01/08/2016: Biometric appointment

Day 235 - 07/26/2016: Approved (E-notification of Card Production)

Day 238 - 07/29/2016: Status changed to 'Card Was Mailed to Me'

Day 241 - 08/01/2016: CSC returned original docs that were submitted at the time of application.

Day 241 - 08/01/2016: New status update 'Card was picked up by the United States Postal Service' Priority Mail 2-Day with tracking number provided.

Day 243 - 08/03/2016: Received 10 year Green Card

Day 255 - 08/15/2016: Received NOA2 with approval dated 07/26/2016

Click here for a sample of my cover letter, list of evidence, package assembly & shipping box

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Day 03: 12/15/2016 Credit card charged

Day 07: 12/19/2016 Text & e-mail notification received with a NBC receipt #

Day 11: 12/23/2016 NOA received via mail with priority date 12/13/16

Day 16: 12/28/2016 Received E-mail notification reg. biometrics scheduling

Day 19: 12/31/2016 Received Biometric notice via mail with notice date 12/24/2016

Day 32: 01/13/2017 Biometric appointment

Day 53: 02/03/2017 Received e-mail notification stating I am "in line" for interview scheduling

Day 144: 05/05/2017 Filed an e-request that interview notice was not yet mailed to me

Day 148: 05/09/2017 Received e-mail notification that interview has been scheduled after being in line for 95 days

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Day 12: 08/08/2017 Received 2 e-mails stating that passport processing is over and it has been mailed with tracking # provided

Day 15: 08/11/2017 Received passport book via Priority Mail

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20 minutes ago, Lemonslice said:

If you do not plan to stay married, you should file for divorce and let her figure out the immigration side of things on her own.  In most states, you can file on your own.  What she plans or does not plan to do, we can't guess. 

From my perspective, I'm not sure what the point of a divorce would be, since affidavit of support obligations would remain in effect. It's not like I'm looking to get remarried any time in the foreseeable future.

 

Yeah, our visa journey began back in November 2014, and she finally got here in February 2016.

Edited by lysander

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18 minutes ago, lysander said:

From my perspective, I'm not sure what the point of a divorce would be, since affidavit of support obligations would remain in effect. It's not like I'm looking to get remarried any time in the foreseeable future.

 

Yeah, our visa journey began back in November 2014, and she finally got here in February 2016.

perhaps you should have taken everyone elses advice.  i guess she was really in love with you and didnt care at all about the greencard:/
divorce, move on and focus on your life.  seems like you have alot of work to do within yourself. 
i also hope your parents didnt have to support her fully and everything. i would truly feel way worse about that and the financial burden put on them. 

Edited by caliliving

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11 minutes ago, caliliving said:

perhaps you should have taken everyone elses advice.  i guess she was really in love with you and didnt care at all about the greencard:/
divorce, move on and focus on your life.  seems like you have alot of work to do within yourself. 

Well, most people are against the idea of foreign brides altogether. I put a lot of faith in the statistics showing that these marriages have a high success rate, but I didn't take into account that most of those successful marriages probably involve a husband who is earning some money. Since she initially said that my income or lack thereof wasn't an issue for her, I figured it wasn't going to matter.

 

I suppose now, this case is going to go down as yet another statistic that feminist academics will wave around saying, "We need to crack down on this mail-order bride problem because there are all these women who come here on a K-1 visa and get abused by their American husbands. Good thing we have VAWA, but we need to do more!"

Edited by lysander

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18 minutes ago, lysander said:

Well, most people are against the idea of foreign brides altogether. I put a lot of faith in the statistics showing that these marriages have a high success rate, but I didn't take into account that most of those successful marriages probably involve a husband who is earning some money. Since she initially said that my income or lack thereof wasn't an issue for her, I figured it wasn't going to matter.

 

I suppose now, this case is going to go down as yet another statistic that feminist academics will wave around saying, "We need to crack down on this mail-order bride problem because there are all these women who come here on a K-1 visa and get abused by their American husbands. Good thing we have VAWA, but we need to do more!"

As this is a website based on international marriages people here are not against foreign brides. Again, you seem to be someone who thinks he knows it all and has everything figured out. People tried to explain that you had nothing to offer this woman besides a green card. Instead you thought u knew it all and put your parents finances on the line. People are trying to land ameeican spouses all the time and will say whatever it takes to come here!!

 

Also, how were her job prospects when she got here? Did she have a hard time finding a wellbpaying job? Was it as easy as she thought and how much did that play into it? Lots of foreigners think America is full of rich people and easy job opportunities. Perhaps if you explained that to her ahead of time it would have been a better outcome. 

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The I-864 has nothing to do with filing for divorce.  There is not real obligation that the I-864 makes you adhere to other than ensuring that she does not apply for benefits which she is legally able to receive in 5 years.  

 

Make sure that you appear in court to attest her restraining order.  Bring her text messages as evidence against her.  

 

Yes a permanent restraining order is a valid document in filing VAWA, but she will need more than that to be approved.  They do not accept temporary restraining orders as a valid document.

Edited by Pinkrlion

Phase I - IV - Completed the Immigration Journey 

 

 

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I don't know how it is in Washington but the process for Temp Restraining Orders work as temporary protection so a judge can figure out things out. You will get a court appearance hear where you can tell your side of the story. The burden is on her to prove a permanent protection order is needed. If her claims are frivolous, then the temp protection order will be dismissed and you can go about your way. Again, this MAY NOT be the case for ALL states. Best to learn if that is the process in your state.

 

There are plenty of reasons to divorce. You need to move on with your life because obviously she has. She has made her decision. If she made vows to be with you through good times and bad, obviously it didn't mean anything to her. Why stay with a women who will bolt at the first sign of hard times instead of helping you and the household to get out of a rut? Move on and find someone who will love you for who you are.

 

VJ is about 99% (this is a personal estimate) of people who have international relationships so there is no sentiments about not having "mail order brides" here.

 

Like @Boiler mentioned, wonder why she is claiming VAWA when she has a GC already.

 


“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made; whether it is time, money, or separation or a combination of any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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Boiler once again is short and to the point, VAWA is not needed. What will be needed is a divorce so she can file with a divorce waiver. No matter what she does she will need proof she entered the marriage in good faith. There is nothing more for you to do in regards to her green card, she has it and it is up to her to do what is needed to keep it. You cannot not stop her from filing to remove conditions.

As to the protective order you should have a hearing date. The temporary order is usually awarded when filed for and it is based only upon what the person filing for it has said. At the hearing you can explain she moved out on ______ date, you have had contact with her in _______context, etc. Whether she obtains a restraining order or not is irrelevant to her immigration status, she already has a green card.

Move on with life, divorce her when you are ready or able, she is no longer your concern and there is nothing you can do to control her actions or if she received benefits.

 

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6 hours ago, caliliving said:

As this is a website based on international marriages people here are not against foreign brides. Again, you seem to be someone who thinks he knows it all and has everything figured out. People tried to explain that you had nothing to offer this woman besides a green card. Instead you thought u knew it all and put your parents finances on the line. People are trying to land ameeican spouses all the time and will say whatever it takes to come here!!

 

Also, how were her job prospects when she got here? Did she have a hard time finding a wellbpaying job? Was it as easy as she thought and how much did that play into it? Lots of foreigners think America is full of rich people and easy job opportunities. Perhaps if you explained that to her ahead of time it would have been a better outcome. 

I fell into the trap many men fall into, which is thinking they've found a woman who is really special, so therefore the typical relationship advice doesn't apply. I.e., "Oh sure, maybe you're right about how most women are, but this woman says she's the other 1 out a million who is different. So I have to make sure I marry her or the opportunity will pass by and I'll never have another like it."

 

To me, it seemed logical that if she's the one wanting to end the relationship, she should be the one to file for divorce. But I guess from her perspective, I'm the one at fault for the relationship's failing, so therefore it's my responsibility to file for the divorce and pay for it and all that. Either way, she's chronically broke and doesn't seem to understand how to file for divorce as a pro se litigant.

 

She's had several different jobs in the U.S., working at a restaurant, taking care of people's kids, working at Wal-Mart, etc. I had a Filipina co-worker who told me, "You have to let her work, since she has a college degree and it would be wasting her potential if she just sat at home." Plus my wife herself was complaining she was tired of being "nothing" as she put it. So I bought her a car, got her signed up for driving lessons, etc., so she could get a job.

 

I thought, "It'll help her if she becomes friends with other Filipinas." My Filipina co-worker offered to talk to her and give her tips on getting acclimated to the U.S. Later I found out, she said a bunch of stuff to my wife like "Don't be afraid of divorce" if the relationship isn't working out.

 

I'm already once-divorced, so I know all too well that marriage doesn't give me any control or leverage. I suppose I should've been more skeptical this time around, given my unpleasant experience the first time around, but I wrote off the failure of my first marriage as a fluke, and thought, "Okay, this woman is different, because she's from a different culture, is able to function in society better than my first wife was, etc. She'll be able to actually keep her promises."

As far as I know, the only remaining loose end is the affidavit of support. Before my mom signed it, my wife swore up and down that she would never sue for support. If she wanted to, she could probably sue for support while still earning money under the table taking care of people's kids for them, but maybe she's not scheming enough to have thought of that, or maybe she doesn't want to work under the table anymore, or maybe she's actually going to keep her promise. It could also be that she's waiting for the permanent restraining order to go into effect before she makes her next move.

 

If it weren't for the I-864, I would be inclined to just walk away from the situation and not even bother to show up at the restraining order hearing, but I guess it'll be necessary to hire a lawyer and contest the case, to protect my mom's interests. Part of what makes my mom sad about the situation is that she got emotionally attached to my wife and now my wife isn't returning her phone calls. We have to be careful anyway, though, because if my mom passes on something that I said, that might be construed as my violating the restraining order by trying to communicate with my wife through a third party.

Edited by lysander

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