Call (954) 946-8130 for a free telephone consultation with a Florida immigration lawyer about your immigration goals.
As a battered spouse, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The VAWA provisions in the INA allow certain spouses of U.S. citizens and certain spouses of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.
Which Battered Spouses are Eligible to File under VAWA?
You may file for yourself if you are, or were, the abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You may also file as an abused spouse if your child has been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse. You may also include on your petition your unmarried children who are under 21 if they have not filed for themselves.
What are the Eligibility Requirements for a Spouse to File under VAWA?
A) Qualifying spousal relationship:
You are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser or
your marriage to the abuser was terminated by death or a divorce (related to the abuse) within the 2 years prior to filing your petition, or
your spouse lost or renounced citizenship or permanent resident status within the 2 years prior to filing your petition due to an incident of domestic violence, or
you believed that you were legally married to your abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse but the marriage was not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse.
B) You have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse:
You have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, or
your child has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. or permanent resident spouse.
C) You entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits.
D) You have resided with your spouse.
E) You are a person of good moral character.
What is the Filing Process under VAWA?
You must complete the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, including all supporting documentation.
If you are living abroad at the time of filing the self-petition, you may file Form I-360 if:
the abuser is an employee of the U.S. government,
the abuser is a member of the uniformed services, or
you were subjected to battery or extreme cruelty in the United States.
If you are a self-petitioning spouse or child and you meet all filing requirements, you will receive a notice (Prima Facie Determination Notice) valid for 150 days that you can present to government agencies that provide certain public benefits to certain victims of domestic violence.
If your Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant is approved and you do not have legal immigration status in the United States, USCIS usually will place you in deferred action, which allows you to remain in the United States
Can I Work in the United States during the VAWA processing?
If you have an approved Form I-360, you are eligible to apply to work in the United States. In addition, if you have an approved Form I-360 and have been placed in deferred action, you are eligible to apply to work in the United States.
Am I Eligible for a Permanent Residence (Green Card)?
If you have an approved Form I-360, you may be eligible to file for a green card. If you are a self-petitioning spouse or child, your children listed on your approved Form I-360 may also be eligible to apply for a green card. It is important to work with an experienced immigration attorney to help you assemble the required information and documentation.
We look forward to hearing from you and discussing your immigration options under VAWA. There is no charge for an initial telephone consultation. The Law Office of Rose H. Robbins represents VAWA immigration clients from all over the United States since it involves the same Federal laws and regulations.
Please call us at: (954) 946-8130 to schedule your free telephone consultation. This is a FREE consultation and you will not be charged for this call.
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