Resources

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Welcome

There are lots of other good resources for the immigrant community and those who help them.  Here are some that we have found to have consistently accurate and helpful information.

Immigration Vocabulary

Immigration Vocabulary List

What is an “affidavit of support”? What are “inadmissibility grounds”? What is a “priority date”? Immigration law uses many words that even native English speakers can struggle with. However, it is important to understand the definitions of any immigration term that is related to your case. Download our Immigration Vocabulary List to learn about these terms and more.

Acronyms and Abbreviations

What is “USCIS”? What does “VAWA” stand for? What does “EWI” mean? When you read about immigration law or speak with an attorney, you will likely find many acronyms and abbreviations that you have never heard before. Again, you need to understand the definitions of any immigration term that is related to your case. Download our Immigration Acronym List to learn about these abbreviations and more.

For Victims of Crime and Domestic Violence

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Advocates are available 24/7/365 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. 

English:  1-800-799-7233  https://www.thehotline.org

Spanish:  1-800-799-7233 https://espanol.thehotline.org 

Nuestros asesores áltamente capacitados están disponibles las 24 horas, 7 días de la semana y los 365 días del año para conversar de manera confidencial con toda persona o ser querido que pueda verse afectada o afectado por violencia doméstica, que esté buscando recursos de ayuda e información o que tenga preguntas sobre aspectos dañinos de su relación de pareja. 

TTY 1-800-787-3224

Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States

From U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ “Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa Fact Sheet” (uscis.gov):

Immigrants are particularly vulnerable because many may not speak English, are often separated from family and friends, and may not understand the laws of the United States. For these reasons, immigrants are often afraid to report acts of domestic violence to the police or to seek other forms of assistance. Such fear causes many immigrants to remain in abusive relationships.

This fact sheet will explain domestic violence and inform you of your legal rights in the United States. Also, this fact sheet provides the same information as the pamphlet titled, “Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa (PDF, 52 KB).”  The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA) requires that the U.S. government provide foreign fiancé(e)s and spouses immigrating to the United States information about their legal rights as well as criminal or domestic violence histories of their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)s and spouses. One of IMBRA’s goals is to provide accurate information to immigrating fiancé(e)s and spouses about the immigration process and how to access help if their relationship becomes abusive.

Learn more at uscis.gov.

Application Details

Civil Documents by Country

The U.S. Department of State provides a list of acceptable documents on their website for each country that has a relationship with the United States. For example, if you are looking for what documents you need to prove a marriage, start by selecting your country and then scroll until you see the marriage certificate section. There you will find the documentation you need to give U.S. Immigration that is specific to your country. This resource can also be helpful if you need to find out how to get a copy of a divorce, birth, adoption, or death certificate from your home country. 

Various Faith Groups on Immigration

Several major faith groups stand with immigrants. Learn more about the following churches’ ministries caring for our refugee and immigrant community. 

The Roman Catholic Church

Catholic social teaching guides Catholics to live out Jesus’s ministry. One ministry is respecting human life and dignity, which includes caring for vulnerable people such as immigrants and refugees. From usccb.org:

The U.S. bishops’ pastoral statement Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity is firmly grounded in the Church’s social teaching. Understanding and appreciating Catholic social teaching helps us to put our faith into action. Is your parish community looking for opportunities to better understand and practice what our faith teaches? Using this resource as a study guide, discussion starter, and guide to action can provide such opportunities.

This study guide from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops about “Catholic Social Teaching on Immigration and the Movement of Peoples” is available at usccb.org.

The Episcopalian Church

From episcopalchurch.org:

The Episcopal Church seeks to address issues of global migration and their root causes as the number of displaced people surpasses 70 million worldwide. We work to protect the human rights and safety of refugees by supporting the refugee resettlement work of Episcopal Migration Ministries. Further, we are committed to advocating for humane immigration policies that respect the dignity and worth of every human being and for comprehensive immigration reform.

Learn more about the Episcopalian Church’s ministry in migration at episcopalmigrationministries.org.

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

From elca.org:

The social message on “Immigration” presents basic themes for discernment on questions of immigration that our society is facing. It draws from Scripture and the experience of Lutherans in America as an immigrant church in a country of immigrants. The basic themes are grounded in the call to welcome the stranger (Matthew 25:35) together with the commitment to justice that advocates for fair and generous laws.

Learn more about the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s social message on immigration at elca.org.

United Methodist Church

“The Rights of Immigrants” from umc.org:

We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God. We affirm the right of all persons to equal opportunities for employment, access to housing, health care, education, and freedom from social discrimination. We urge the Church and society to recognize the gifts, contributions, and struggles of those who are immigrants and to advocate for justice for all. We oppose immigration policies that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families.

Learn more about their Border Ministry in the Western Jurisdiction at umc.org.

Additional Resources

VAWA Self-Petition

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a gender neutral law that helps both men and women leave abusive relationships. It allows people to petition for themselves, free of charge, when they would otherwise have to depend on an abusive family member to help them with Immigration. Read More about “VAWA Self-Petition”

U Nonimmigrant Status

U nonimmigrant status allows victims of certain crimes to stay in the United States if they cooperate with the police in any criminal investigation and prosecution. Fortunately, when you apply for U nonimmigrant status you can ask Immigration to waive problems that prevent most people from getting lawful status. Read More about “U Nonimmigrant Status”