The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides protection mainly for battered immigrant women, children, and parents residing in the U.S. However, many do not know that abused men may also qualify. If you have been subjected to abuse and your abuser is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may be able to obtain protection by filing a petition called an I-360.
For assistance in submitting your application and the evidence needed to substantiate your case, you can rely on our Austin VAWA lawyers at J. Sparks Law, PLLC. With extensive experience practicing immigration law in Texas, our attorneys have a deep understanding of how to handle all aspects of the application process.
Under VAWA, victims of domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse have the legal right to self-petition for lawful permanent residency without the knowledge or cooperation of their abuser. Done in secret, it protects the abused individual from any mistreatment or suppression and provides an escape from the violent relationship. VAWA protection is available to the spouses, ex-spouses, children, and parents of the abuser.
Qualifications for VAWA protection and benefits include:
Once your VAWA petition is approved, you can seek work authorization, you will have protection from deportation, and you will be able to apply for a green card that will give you freedom from the abuser. Those who have been married to U.S. citizens may submit their green card applications at the same time with their VAWA petition. Those who are already divorced must file their VAWA petition within two years of the date of their divorce.
At J. Sparks Law, PLLC, we have helped people throughout Texas achieve this type of independence through VAWA permanent residency. We truly care for our clients and will work diligently on your behalf from start to finish. Seek help from a board-certified immigration attorney in Texas
VAWA Frequently Asked Questions
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a law that provides benefits to survivors of domestic violence and other crimes committed against them by spouses who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (green card holders). The law also provides benefits to an abused parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter. A person who qualifies can self-petition, meaning they can file a petition and have it considered without the involvement of the abusive relative. Even when self-petitioning, it is important to have the help of an experienced Austin VAWA lawyer.
To obtain benefits under VAWA, victims of abuse who seek the benefits must file an application whose processing time varies, depending on the current backlog of applications in the VAWA category, the complexity of the case, and other factors. Generally, however, it takes approximately 24 to 36 months to have the application processed. VAWA petitions are processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you wish to know the most updated processing time for the application, you can check with the USCIS processing times website.
The main purpose of VAWA is to prevent abusive U.S. citizens or green card holders from denying their abused relatives the opportunity to seek immigration benefits as part of their abuse. A victim of such domestic abuse does not need the abusive relative to file or be involved in any way with their application for benefits under this law. Many victims of domestic abuse are either afraid to ask their abusive husbands to help them get immigration benefits, or if they ask for help, the abusive relatives refuse to offer that help. This law makes sure that is not the case.
A strong VAWA application is one that has attached to it the following:
An Austin VAWA lawyer can help you in many ways, including helping you put together your application package and identify and address any issues before filing. Many applicants make the mistake of applying by themselves without the help of an experienced Austin VAWA lawyer. An experienced VAWA lawyer can spot and address issues that can be a basis for denying your application if not addressed.