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  • News: USCIS Publishes FAQs on Employment Authorization for Certain Abused Nonimmigrant Spouses

    If you were admitted to the United States as the spouse of an A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant who has abused you, you may be eligible for employment authorization. Provisions added to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 allow certain abused nonimmigrant spouses to file for employment authorization. Employment authorization enables victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.  The employment authorization provisions apply equally to men and women. Initial employment authorizations will be issued for 2 years and may be renewed in certain circumstances.  The issuance of employment authorization will not establish eligibility for or extend your lawful status in the United States.

    Find on this page:

    Get Help
    Who May File
    Eligibility Requirements
    Filing Requirements

    Get Help

    Help is available to victims of domestic violence though the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD). The hotline has information about shelters, mental health care, legal advice and other types of assistance, including information about filing for immigration status. For more information, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.

    Who May File

    You may file Form I-765V, Application for Employment Authorization for Abused Nonimmigrant Spouse if you are, or were, the abused spouse of a nonimmigrant who was admitted to the United States  under INA section 101(a)(15)(A), (E)(iii), (G), or (H) [admitted in A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant status], and you either accompanied or followed to join your abusive nonimmigrant spouse.   

    Eligibility Requirements  

    To be eligible for employment authorization as an abused nonimmigrant spouse, you must submit credible evidence demonstrating that you:

    1. Are the qualifying spouse who accompanied or followed to join your nonimmigrant spouse who was admitted to the United States in A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant status; 

    To establish you are in a qualifying marital relationship, you must demonstrate that you:  

    A. Are married to a nonimmigrant who was admitted to the United States in A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant status or

    B. Were married to a nonimmigrant who was admitted to the United States in A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant status and

    (1) Your spouse died within the two years prior to your filing of Form I-765V;
    (2) Your spouse lost qualifying nonimmigrant status due to an incident of domestic violence within the two years prior to your filing of Form I-765V; or
    (3) Your marriage was terminated within the two years prior to your filing of Form I-765V and there is a connection between the termination of the marriage and the battery or extreme cruelty perpetrated by your former spouse;

    2. Were last admitted to the United States in A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant status;

    3. Were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty (or your child was battered or subjected to extreme cruelty) perpetrated by your nonimmigrant spouse during the marriage and after your admission to the United States in A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant status; and

    4. Currently reside in the United States.

    NOTE: If you remarry before adjudication of Form I-765V, Application for Employment Authorization for Abused Nonimmigrant Spouse, your application will be denied.authorization.

    Filing Requirements

    Applicants must file Form I-765V, Application for Employment Authorization for Abused Nonimmigrant Spouse, in accordance with the form’s instructions. In addition to the application for employment authorization, you must submit:

    (1) Evidence of your admission to the United States in A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant status;  

    (2) Evidence of your principal nonimmigrant spouse’s admission to the United States in A, E-3, G, or H nonimmigrant status;

    NOTE:  Although you may not be able to provide documentary evidence of your spouse’s nonimmigrant status, you must provide some identifying evidence such as name, place of birth, country of birth, date of birth, date of entry into the United States, I-94 number, employer, etc. USCIS officers will conduct a search of the appropriate electronic systems to attempt to verify the qualifying nonimmigrant status of your spouse.  

    (3) Evidence of abuse, such as police reports, court records, medical records, reports from social service agencies, or affidavits. If you have obtained a protective court order against your spouse, you should submit a copy;

    (4) Evidence of your qualifying marital relationship with the principal nonimmigrant;  

    (5) Evidence of your current residence in the United States; and

    (6) Two color passport-style photographs.

    You may apply to renew your employment authorization if you continue to meet the initial filing requirements, although evidence of abuse need not be resubmitted. Initial employment authorization and renewals will be issued in 2-year intervals.

    Last Reviewed/Updated:

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