What is VAWA?
AUG 18, 2022

As part of the immigration procedures, family petitions are the most common proceedings received and processed by USCIS. During the family petition and adjustment of status process, the petitioner must accompany, sign, and petition the beneficiary. But what happens when the beneficiary of this family petition, or this adjustment of status, is a victim of domestic violence by the petitioner who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States? In today's blog we are going to be explaining what the VAWA or the Violence Against Women Act consists of.

You may self-petition or present the documents to immigration without the need for the petitioner using the VAWA law if you have been the victim of aggression or extreme cruelty on the part of your spouse or ex-spouse who is a US citizen or resident; if you have been the victim of battery or extreme cruelty by your US citizen or resident parent; or if you have been the victim of battery or extreme cruelty by your US citizen son or daughter. This law applies to both men and women, regardless of gender.

The VAWA is nothing more than a solution that immigration has given, so that the victim of domestic violence can continue with their immigration process, without the need for the intervention of the aggressor petitioner.

The VAWA beneficiary could file the petition directly, without the abuser's signature or cooperation. This petition must be filed within two years of either the abuser's death, loss of status due to the domestic violence incident, and/or within two years of the divorce.

One of the main benefits of VAWA is that no matter how the person entered the country, even if they maintain legal status in the United States, if their VAWA is approved, they can adjust their status without having to leave the country.

In order to adjust status through VAWA, it will be necessary to demonstrate that the person has the VAWA petition approved, that they are present in the United States, that they are eligible to receive an immigrant visa, and that the visa is available at the time when the adjustment of status is filed.

If the main VAWA applicant has a son or daughter under 21 years of age, single or divorced, they may be included in the petition as a derivative applicant, if they meet the other requirements mentioned above.

If you need help with your VAWA petition, including if you need help with your domestic violence case, don't hesitate to contact us. In Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. we can help you with your process. The first consultation is free. Trust our professionals to guide you through the best path to follow on your path to becoming a resident of the United States. In Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. your problem is our problem.

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