Questions & Answers about VAWA

What are the Requirements for a Battered Spouse to be Eligible for a Green Card under Violence Against Women Act – VAWA in 2014?

Call (954) 946-8130 to find out about the legal services we offer in the area of VAWA law. We do not offer a free consultation with an attorney and there is a charge for a legal consultation depending on the complexity of the matter.

As a battered spouse, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

The VAWA provisions in the INA allow certain spouses of U.S. citizens and certain spouses of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.

Which Battered Spouses are Eligible to File under VAWA?

You may file for yourself if you are, or were, the abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You may also file as an abused spouse if your child has been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse. You may also include on your petition your unmarried children who are under 21 if they have not filed for themselves.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for a Spouse to File under VAWA?

A) Qualifying spousal relationship:

You are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser or

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

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.

B) 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.

C) You entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits.

D) You have resided with your spouse.

E) You are a person of good moral character.

What is the Filing Process under VAWA?

You must complete the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, including all supporting documentation.

If you are living abroad at the time of filing the self-petition, you may file Form I-360 if:

the abuser is an employee of the U.S. government,

the abuser is a member of the uniformed services, or

you were subjected to battery or extreme cruelty in the United States.

If you are a self-petitioning spouse or child and you meet all filing requirements, you will receive a notice (Prima Facie Determination Notice) valid for 150 days that you can present to government agencies that provide certain public benefits to certain victims of domestic violence.

If your Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant is approved and you do not have legal immigration status in the United States, USCIS usually will place you in deferred action, which allows you to remain in the United States

Can I Work in the United States during the VAWA processing?

If you have an approved Form I-360, you are eligible to apply to work in the United States. In addition, if you have an approved Form I-360 and have been placed in deferred action, you are eligible to apply to work in the United States.

Am I Eligible for a Permanent Residence (Green Card)?

If you have an approved Form I-360, you may be eligible to file for a green card. If you are a self-petitioning spouse or child, your children listed on your approved Form I-360 may also be eligible to apply for a green card. It is important to work with an immigration attorney  who is experienced with VAWA filings to help you assemble the required information and documentation.

 

We look forward to hearing from you. There is no charge for an initial telephone consultation. The Law Office of Rose H. Robbins represents VAWA immigration clients from all over the United States since it involves the same Federal laws and regulations.

Please call us at: (954) 946-8130 to schedule your free telephone consultation so we can tell you about the legal services we offer in this area.

CONTACT THE OFFICE HERE!

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Questions and Answers (Q and A) about Legal Rights of Abused and Battered Spouses under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Call (954) 946-8130 to find out about the legal services we offer in the area of  VAWA law. We do not offer a free consultation with an attorney and there is a charge for a legal consultation depending on the complexity of the matter.

Q. What if my Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, is denied?

A. If your petition is denied the denial letter will tell you how to file an appeal. It is a good ideal to consult with an experienced VAWA immigration lawyer to discuss your options. In some cases, it may be wise to simply to refile the Form I-360.

Q. Can A Man File A Petition For Himself Under The Violence Against Women Act?

A. Yes, VAWA applies equally to victims of either sex.

 

Q. Do I Have to Remain Married to My Abusive Spouse Until my Form I-360 is Approved?

A. Effective October 28, 2000, you may file a Form I-360 if you are still married to your abusive spouse or, in certain circumstances, if you are not still married to your abusive spouse. If you are not still married to your abusive spouse when you file Form I-360, you must meet one of the following exceptions:

 

     You believed you were legally married to your abusive spouse but the marriage is not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse.

    Your abusive spouse died within 2 years of filing the petition.

    Your abusive spouse lost or renounce his citizenship or lawful resident status due to an incident of domestic violence

    Your marriage to your abusive spouse was terminated within the 2 years prior to filing of the petition, and there is a connection between the termination of the marriage and the battery or extreme cruelty.

 

The actual grounds for the termination of the marriage do not need to explicitly cite battery or extreme cruelty. After your petition has been filed, legal termination of the marriage will not usually affect the status of your petition.

 

Q. Can A Divorced Spouse Seek Relief By Filing A Form I-360?

A. Yes. Effective October 28, 2000, you may file a Form I-360 if the marriage was terminated within 2 years prior to the date of filing, if you can demonstrate a connection between the termination of the marriage and the battery or extreme cruelty. A battered spouse who cannot demonstrate such a connection may be eligible for battered spouse cancellation of removal. To qualify for battered spouse cancellation of removal, you must meet the other requirements that would be necessary for approval of a self-petition. In addition, you must have been physically present in the United States for 3 years immediately preceding the filing of the application for cancellation of removal, and you must demonstrate that your removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship to you or your child.

 

Your Form I-360 will be denied if you re-marry prior to the approval of the Form I-360. Remarriage after the Form I-360 has been approved will not affect the validity of the petition.

 

Q. What if My Abusive U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Spouse or Parent (or U.S. Citizen Son or Daughter) Filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on My Behalf, Which is Still Pending or Was Withdrawn?

A. If you are the beneficiary of a Form I-130 filed by the abusive spouse, parent or child, you will be able to transfer the priority date of the Form I-130 to the Form I-360. This is extremely important for you were married to a husband with a green card since it may result in an earlier priority date and a shorter waiting time for getting a green card.

 In all circumstances, it is wise to consult with an experienced VAWA immigration lawyer to evaluate your particular circumstances and legal options.

We look forward to hearing from you and discussing your immigration options under VAWA.  There is no charge for an initial telephone consultation. The Law Office of Rose H. Robbins represents VAWA immigration clients from all over the United States since it involves the same Federal laws and regulations.

Call (954) 946-8130 to find out about the legal services we offer in the area of VAWA law. We do not offer a free consultation with an attorney and there is a charge for a legal consultation depending on the complexity of the matter.

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