VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (VAWA)

A victim of domestic violence may be able to file an immigrant petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. You may be eligible for a visa through VAWA if you fall into one of three categories:

  • Spouse: abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or if your child has been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.
  • Parent: parent of a U.S. citizen, and you have been abused by your U.S. citizen son or daughter.
  • Child: an abused child under 21, unmarried and have been abused by your U.S. citizen. permanent resident parent. You may also file for yourself as a child after age 21 but before age 25.

To qualify you must be able to demonstrate the below criteria:

If you are the spouse

  • You are or were married to a U.S. citizen of permanent resident abuser and entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits;
  • You or your child suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse;
  • You resided with your spouse; and
  • You are a person of good moral character.

If you are the parent

  • 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;
  • You suffered battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen son or daughter;
  • You resided with the abusive son or daughter; and
  • You are a person of good moral character.

If you are the child

  • You are the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser;
  • You suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent;
  • You resided with your abusive parent; and
  • You are a person of good moral character.

If your VAWA petition is approved you will be eligible to apply to work authorization in the United States and lawful permanent residence in the United States.