The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) creates a special provision in the United States immigration law that protects the victims of domestic abuse who are not U.S. citizens. Typically, if you are the spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, that person will have to apply for a green card on your behalf. However, under VAWA, you may be able to obtain legal immigration status on your own. Here are some further frequently asked questions about VAWA.
A derivative is an individual who is not a United States citizen who can obtain legal immigration status through another non-citizen who is the principal applicant. For example, an abused person seeking status under VAWA may also seek status for their minor children.
Inadmissibility grounds are reasons why an individual cannot be admitted to the United States. These grounds can include things such as certain criminal convictions or committing different types of fraud. You may not be qualified to receive an immigration benefit based on inadmissibility grounds. However, an experienced immigration attorney can tell you if you fall under one of these inadmissibility grounds and whether there are any waivers or exemptions that may help you.
Though the term women is used in the act, men may also qualify for VAWA protections.
Under immigration law, a child is considered a biological child, an adopted child, or a stepchild. However, a stepchild must be under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage, and an adopted child must be 16 or under at the time of the adoption.
There are three (3) possible forms of relief under VAWA, and each has its own requirements.
Yes. One can apply for VAWA self-petition up to two (2) years from the date of divroce and/or legal separation from his/her abuser. One can apply for VAWA cancellation at any time in removal proceedings even if more than two (2) years have passed since the divorce from ones USC or lawful permanent resident abuser.
If you want to explore your options under VAWA, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, we have the knowledge and record of success that you need. Contact us online or call us at (305) 924-1133 to schedule a strategy session.