Will I be Reported to the INS if I Seek a Restraining Order?

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Anyone, including an angry spouse, could report you to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at any time. It is not, however, an automatic step in the court process to make such a report. This does not mean that it could never happen. But you do not need to be afraid that the INS will be notified, as a matter of course, if you file for a restraining order.

If you don't speak English, you can ask the court clerk for an interpreter. If one is not available, bring someone to interpret for you. Do not use a child to interpret for you.

You should be aware of a special provision in the laws governing immigration and naturalization that may apply to you. If your immigration status is dependent on your spouse and you are a victim of domestic violence, you may be able to "self-petition" for legal status under the federal Violence Against Women Act.

The Restraining Order is valid whether you have a green card or not. If you are worried about being deported, talk to an immigration lawyer.

There are many ways to find legal help. It's not always easy - sometimes you might have to talk to several people before you get help. If you talk to someone but they can't help you, ask them who can. Keep asking until you get the help you need.

For free and low-cost legal help:

 


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