The Violence Against Women Act, or “VAWA,” offers relief to spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who have suffered abuse.
I-360 VAWA Petition
VAWA allows a person who has been abused by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or child to apply for lawful permanent resident status independently. To qualify under this process, a person must show the following:
A good faith marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse;
The marriage must still be valid, or ended within the past two years;
Proof of a shared residence;
Physical or emotional abuse by the spouse; and
Good moral character of the applicant.
Child or Parent:
Proof of parent-child relationship
Physical or emotional abuse
Good moral character of the applicant
I-751 under VAWA
VAWA provides a waiver of the requirement that a conditional permanent resident remain married to remove the conditions on his or her status. A person qualifies for this waiver if he or she can show abuse by the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse during the marriage.
A U visa provides legal status to persons who can show that they have been victims of certain crimes in the United States. The list of qualifying crimes includes, but is not limited to the following:
Most violent crimes, such as assault
In addition to showing that they have been victims of certain crimes, a qualified applicant must also show all of the following:
He or she has been helpful in the investigation and/or prosecution of that activity
He or she has suffered substantial harm as a result of the crime
He or she is not ineligible for having committed the same crime
A T visa is for victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking means that a person has been brought to the U.S. by fraud or force for involuntary servitude. A qualified applicant must also show that he or she would suffer extreme hardship if forced to return to his or her home country.
VAWA Cancellation of Removal and Adjustment of Status
A person qualifies for VAWA cancellation of removal if he or she meets the following requirements:
Is in removal proceedings;
Has resided continuously in the United States for three years;
Suffered physical or emotional abuse by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or child;
Is not barred by certain criminal acts;
Can show extreme hardship to the applicant and/or applicant’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, spouse, or child; and
Is a person of good moral character