Violence Against Women Act

The Violence against Women Act, or VAWA, allows an abused spouse or child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, or an abused parent of U.S. Citizen to self-petition for lawful status in the United States, receive employment authorization and access public benefits. VAWA provides survivors of domestic violence with the means that are essential to seek safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing. This is also known as a SELF PETITION.

You may be eligible to file for VAWA if you fit into one of the following categories:
  • Spouse:
    1. You are married to a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident abuser; or
    2. Your marriage to the abuser was terminated by death or a divorce (related to the abuse) within the 2 years prior to filing your petition; or
    3. Your spouse lost or renounced citizenship or permanent resident status within the 2 years prior to your filing your petition due to an incident of domestic violence; or
    4. You believed that you were legally married to your abusive U.S. Citizen or permanent resident spouse but the marriage was not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse.
    5. You have suffered extreme cruelty/battery by your U.S. Citizen or permanent residence spouse; or
    6. Your child has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. Citizen or permanent resident spouse.
    7. You entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits.
    8. You have resided with your spouse.
    9. You are a person of good moral character.
  • Parent:
    1. You are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who is at least 21 years of age when the self-petition is filed; or
    2. You are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence; or
    3. You are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who was at least 21 years of age and who died within 2 years prior to filing the self-petition.
    4. You have suffered battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen son or daughter.
    5. You have resided with the abusive son or daughter.
    6. You are a person of good moral character.
  • Child:
    1. You are the unmarried child under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser; or
    2. You are the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser who lost citizenship or lawful permanent resident status due to an incident of domestic violence.
    3. You have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent.
    4. You have resided with your abusive parent.
    5. You are a person of good moral character; a child less than 14 years of age is presumed to be a person of good moral character.

To begin the process, you must complete the [Form I-360], Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, including all supporting documentation. If you have an approved [Form I-360], you may be eligible for a plethora of benefits, including work authorization, public benefits, and even be eligible to file for a green card.

For more information, please visit the USCIS website at: http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/battered-spouse-children-parents.

If you would like to begin the process for a VAWA petition or have further inquiries, please feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation with our highly experienced immigration attorney.
Posted On: 2014-Jun-17
 


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