Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA)
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a Federal law that allows immigrants that are victims of domestic violence or abuse to obtain legal status in the United States. VAWA allows the victims of domestic violence to escape the abuse without having to worry about their immigration status. Under VAWA, you may be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident (Green Card) if you are the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by:
- A U.S. citizen spouse, former spouse
- A U.S. citizen parent
- A U.S. citizen son or daughter
- A lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or former spouse; or an LPR parent.
VAWA is a self-petitioning application, which means that the abused or parent of the abused can file on his or her own behalf and for his or her child without the need for the abuser to be involved or even be aware. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.
In addition to proving abuse, a self-petitioner must also prove:
- Good faith marriage if the abuser is a spouse or step-parent
- The relationship to the abuser
- The immigration status of the citizen or LPR spouse, parent, or child
- Good moral character
- Residence with the abusive family member.
- Parent-child relationship if the applicant is a non-abusive immigrant parent whose U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse perpetrated the abuse.
Applying for protection under VAWA can be frightening and a seasoned immigration attorney can help to address all of your concerns. Contact Mokolo Law Firm at 713-784-2906 to schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys.