Abused or Battered Spouse, Child Or Parent
Defense for Victims of Domestic Violence
An abused or battered spouse, child or parent, may file an immigrant visa petition under the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA applies equally to women and men. VAWA provides protection for victims of domestic violence and allows certain spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) to file a petition by themselves without the abuser's knowledge.
A victim of domestic violence or abuse may file independently if he/she married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser. Unmarried children who are under 21 can be included in the petition if they have not filed for themselves.
If a Parent is a victim of domestic violence or abuse, he/she may file a self petition if he/she is the parent of a U.S. citizen, and he/she has been abused by U.S. citizen son or daughter.
An abused child may file for himself/herself, if he/she is an abused child under age 21, unmarried and have been abused by U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent. An abused child may file for himself/herself as a child after age 21 but before age 25 if he/she can demonstrate that the abuse was the main reason for the delay in filing.
With an approved petition an abused spouse/child or parent, may be placed in deferred action, as such will be eligible to apply to work in the United States. Children listed on approved self petition, may also apply for work authorization.
If you have an approved self petition, you may be eligible to file for a green card. Your children listed on your approved petition, may also be eligible to apply for a green card. Spouses/children of permanent residents will not be eligible for immediate adjustment of status.
If an abused immigrant spouse, child or parent is in removal proceedings before Immigration Court, and if an abused is not eligible to file self petition under VAWA, he/she may apply for a grant of cancellation of removal under VAWA. The application can be made only in proceedings before Immigration Judge and an applicant must be an abused spouse or child of US citizen or permanent resident; an abused immigrant must be physically present in the U.S. at least 3 years; an abused immigrant must have been of good mora character during that time; he/she or his or her child or parent would suffer exteme hardship if the abused immigrant had to leave the U.S.; the case must warrant a favorable exercise of the Attorney General 's discretion.
For more information please call us to talk with an experienced immigration attorney for abused immigrants.
Immigration laws can be extremely complicated. As each case is unique and different we recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer with experience in VAWA before applying for any type of immigration status to see if you qualify for these or other forms of immigration relief.