When you file an application for residency in the United States under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), you must provide evidence establishing that you meet the eligibility requirements. There are a number of different types of evidence that can help your application.
You must submit a detailed declaration describing your relationship with the abuser. You must also include other details regarding your eligibility. The declaration should include details about how you met the abuser and how the relationship progressed. It may be painful, but details about the abuse should also be included. You should also describe why you are a person of good moral character.
You should include police clearance records from any place you lived for more than six months in the past three years. They show that you have not been convicted of a crime and help demonstrate that you are a person of good moral character. You can also include declarations from friends, family, and members of the community to demonstrate your good moral character.
If the abuser is a United States citizen, you can provide a copy of their birth certificate, U.S. passport, or certificate of naturalization. If the abuser is a green card holder, you can submit a copy of the green card or any other immigration paperwork indicating their status. If you do not have these documents, you can file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with USCIS. If you have no other evidence, you can submit declarations from friends or family who are aware of the abuser’s status.
If you are married to the abuser, you can submit a copy of your marriage certificate. You must also submit evidence that your marriage was not a sham or a fraud. This can include proof that you had children, letters, emails, texts, and photos. Shared bank accounts and property ownership can also be helpful. If the abuser is a parent or a child, then a copy of your birth certificate will suffice.
This can be established showing proof of a lease together, shared utility bills, school records, and tax returns. Any documents listing you and the abuser at the same address will be helpful.
It is important to provide as much evidence as possible, demonstrating that you were abused. Police reports and restraining orders are the best evidence. Court records demonstrating any arrests or convictions are also extremely helpful. You should also provide copies of any medical records showing treatment you had resulting from the abuse. Declarations from friends and family members can also be useful.
Putting together a compelling and successful VAWA application can be difficult. You may want the help of an attorney to make sure your application has the best chance at success. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to help you through the process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.