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How a tourist from Ukraine ran away from her abusive husband and got a green card without him

I came here from Ukraine as a tourist,  my friends hosted me during my American vacation. I went sightseeing and stopped at a Starbucks, where a guy started talking to meet.o’][-=

It turned out that he was also from Ukraine. We exchanged contacts,  started talking and seeing each other and fell in love. But the vacation was over, and I went back home to Ukraine. But that did not change things, we constantly talked on Skype.

I flew to see the guy in the United States again, then returned home again. Everything was wonderful. On Christmas eve he called me on Skype and proposed to get married. I came to the US, moved in with him, we got married. He promised to deal with my immigration documents, so I did not even think about that at all.

However,  the relationship started to turn sour. He drank alcohol and smoked pot every day. He was always under influence.

It got worse with time. After alcohol and pot, he started taking some prescription pills. He got jealous. I was working in a coffee shop at that time, and he often accused me of flirting with customers or not answering my phone quickly enough when he called. I thought I can handle it, but one morning, out of the blue, he pulled me out of bed and beat me. I was injured, my shoulders and legs hurt, I went to the hospital. There were no fractured bones, but I was pretty shaken up.

I called my friend and told her everything. She came to me on the same day and took me to her home. I stayed with her for several weeks. Then I decided to go home to collect my belongings. When I arrived, he was not there. He just disappeared.

I changed all the locks and stayed at our home. I found out that he never sent any documents for me to get a green card as his wife. I did not know what to do, because by that time my tourist visa expired. Also, my husband was mot a US citizen, he only had a green card.

My friend advised me to talk to Marina Shepelsky, who is a lawyer, who went through a divorce and immigration herself. She helped me prepare documents for divorce and apply for the green card as a victim of domestic violence. I did not need my ex-husband’s support to get the green card, I could “self-petition” as a battered spouse. Now I have a green card and continue to get my life together after this horrible experience.