When Ji-hye* married her husband, she thought she found her happily ever after.
Ji-hye came to the U.S. from South Korea to attend a university. She had dreamed of leaving her homeland to escape the sexual abuse she suffered for years at the hands of a family member.
While in school, she began dating an American. She opened up to him about the abuse she suffered, asking him to be patient with her. He was, which is one of the reasons she fell in love with him. She applied for a marriage-based green card shortly after they exchanged wedding vows. But soon afterward, troubles began.
Her husband began raping her in addition to inflicting other physical and emotional abuse. He told her that if she didn’t do as he said, he would derail her green card process. He made good on that threat.
Reaching Out to Alcorn for Help
Ji-hye’s husband sabotaged the first marriage green card interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), making things up and contradicting Ji-hye. That interview left Ji-hye even more scared, anxious, and depressed than before. That’s when she contacted the Alcorn Immigration Law team.
USCIS contacted Ji-hye and her husband for a second interview, which typically happens when an interviewing official suspects a marriage is fraudulent. During a second marriage green card interview, USCIS officials talk with the wife and husband separately about their relationship, home life, and other details.
I accompanied Ji-hye to her interview. We expected her husband would make up stories during the second interview as well, so we were not surprised when USCIS denied her petition. Ji-hye left her husband.
We helped her get the counseling she needed. And the Alcorn Immigration Law team petitioned for a green card for Ji-hye under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
A New Start
As a victim of battery and extreme cruelty, Ji-hye was eligible to apply for a green card without her abusive, soon-to-be ex-husband’s permission or even his knowledge.
Ji-hye’s green card application remains pending. If USCIS approves it, that day will be one of the happiest of my life. I’ve seen her transform into a happy, thriving individual during these months that I’ve worked with her on her case. I know she will continue to thrive if she can remain in the U.S. among her support network of friends and doing the work she enjoys.
* To maintain confidentiality, the name of the client has been changed, and details may have been omitted or slightly altered. Our success in a case does not predict nor guarantee the outcome in your legal matter. The result portrayed above was dependent on the facts of that case. Results will differ based on different facts.