The Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994. It was designed to give victims of abuse, along with law enforcement officials, additional tools in abuse cases.The act itself has been the center of many legal battles and was renewed in 2013 after a long political struggle in Washington, D.C.While VAWA includes many provisions for U.S. citizens, the act also allows certain victims of abuse who are not U.S. citizens to obtain lawful status.It’s important to note that provisions in VAWA are equally available to both women and men who meet certain requirements, as defined by the act. These provisions do extend to immigration, and VAWA allows applicants to apply for legal permanent residency immediately after their case is approved.You may be eligible for application (and self-petition) if you were abused by:
- Your U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse (or if that spouse has abused your child). • Your U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident parent (including a stepparent).
- Your U.S. citizen adult son or daughter.
Alternatively, if you have conditional legal permanent residence as a spouse (or as a child) of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, and the U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident has abused you, you are eligible for a “battered spouse or child waiver.”
If you are in removal proceedings before an immigration judge, and you were abused by your U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent (or you have a child with the U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident who is abused by them), you may be able to apply for “VAWA cancellation of removal.”
The best way to determine your eligibility is to contact Belmonte Law Firm. We can schedule a free consultation with an immigration attorney to discuss your situation and figure out your next steps.