VAWA Immigration Domestic Violence Self-Petition
Violence Against Women Act “VAWA” falls under the Humanitarian Visa category and is available for certain Battered Spouses (male or female), Children and Parents of US Citizens and Permanent Resident Abusers.
VAWA Eligibility for Spouses
A spouse may self-petition if they:
- You’re married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser, or
- The 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
- Your spouse lost or renounced citizenship or permanent resident status within the 2 years prior to filing your petition due to an incident of domestic violence, or
- 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.
- You have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse:
- You have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, or
- Your child has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. or permanent resident spouse.
- You entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits.
- You have resided with your spouse.
- You are a person of good moral character.
VAWA is a Self-Petition which means that the abuser need not be aware, nor will s(he) be notified by the USCIS that the applicant has filed to attain legal status in the USA.
VAWA Statutory Governmental Relief
Monetary Benefit- upon establishing a prima facie case a Determination Notice will issue to enable filing for monetary benefit, among other available statutory relief from the various coordinating governmental entities.
Employment Authorization- issuance is a possibility as part of the benefits available under “VAWA”.
U Visa and VAWA Documentation
Both U Visa and Violence Against Women Act Petitioners must be prepared to offer original documentation to prove their claims- including irrefutable evidence of physical and emotional harm suffered as a result of the victimization.
Read U-Visa for information on Immigration Benefits for Victims of Certain Criminal Activities
Image credit “Husband Beating His Wife” by David Castillo Dominici via Freedigitalphotos.net