Will I be reported to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) if I seek a restraining order?

Anyone, including an angry spouse, could report you to the INS at any time.  It is not, however, an automatic step in the court process to make such a report.   This does not mean, of course, that it could never happen.  You need not be afraid that the INS will be notified automatically if you file a restraining order.

You also 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.

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