Immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents have, in the past, been vulnerable to abuse by the very people who should have been helping them adjust to life in the United States and successfully complete the process of receiving U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card.) Until the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, all the abuser had to do was threaten to stop helping the immigrant get a green card, and the abuser had a powerful method which which to assure that the immigrant would remain quiet and compliant. Fortunately, VAWA undid this power dynamic, by creating a means for the immigrant spouse or child to "self petition" for the green card or otherwise take control of the process at a later phase -- provided that the immigrant is able to prove the history of abuse.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When looking for help, remember to consider how private your computer, Internet, and phone use are and whether there's anything you can and should do to prevent other people from monitoring them.
Green Card Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Who Is Eligible
One of the immigration benefits within the law known as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is that spouses and children who experience abuse by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner-sponsors.
Waivers and Exceptions to Grounds of Inadmissibility for VAWA Applicants
The barriers to a U.S. green card faced by some applicants are eased for many VAWA self-petitioners.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Cancellation of Removal
Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), certain victims of domestic violence who are in removal (deportation) proceedings can apply in front of an immigration judge to remain the U.S. with a green card.
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Application Process for a VAWA Green Card: The I-360 Petition
There are two steps to applying for a green card on your own, without relying on your abusive spouse or parent, as allowed under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Proving Your VAWA Case: Evidence to Submit With I-360 Self-Petition
Gathering convincing evidence of abuse and other eligibility requirements in order to support your VAWA request to USCIS is crucial to success.
Checklist of Documents to Submit to USCIS to Prove Abuse for VAWA Green Card
A checklist of abuse-related documents to include in a VAWA application.
Will Denial of Form I-360 (VAWA) Lead to Removal Proceedings?
In ordinary circumstances, filing an I-360 VAWA petitions cannot land the applicant in removal proceedings, though exceptions exist.
Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer for Help Filing a VAWA Case?
An abused spouse seeking a U.S. green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident often lacks the funds to hire an attorney--how important is a lawyer to winning one's case?
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Should You Apply for a U Visa or for VAWA?
U.S. immigration law provides three possible visas allowing victims of crimes to stay in or even come to the U.S. and testify or otherwise assist in law enforcement efforts.
U Visas for Crime Victims Assisting Law Enforcement: Who Is Eligible
U.S. visas are available for crime victims who provide helpful information to investigating authorities
When VAWA Green Card Holders Can Apply for U.S. Citizenship (Naturalization)
If you received your green card through the Violence Against Women Act, based on a showing of abuse, you might fall into an exception to the usual rules, allowing you to submit Form N-400 after only three years.