VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act, provides avenues for certain immigrant battered spouses, children and parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs), to leave their abusive family members without jeopardizing their immigration status.
In 2013, The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act was signed expanding protection measures to include gays, lesbians, transgender individuals, Native Americans, and immigrants.
VAWA established The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to work to combat and reduce violence against women in a broad range of areas including college campuses and low-income communities. Since its beginning, VAWA’s focus has grown to include domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
Immigrant victims who file for VAWA-related relief become eligible for a variety of federal and state public benefits. Under VAWA, battered non-citizens who are married to or recently divorced from US citizens or LPRs can self-petition (without the help or knowledge of their abusive spouse) to obtain a green card, remove the conditions on their 2-year Conditional Permanent Residence cards or apply for cancellation of removal. For more information, click on the appropriate link below:
- Self Petition for Permanent Residence
- Battered Spouse Waiver
- Cancellation of Removal
- Spouses with Pending or Approved Family Based Visa Petitions
- Ability to become a “Qualified Immigrant”
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VAWA – USCIS Resources
- Battered Spouse, Children & Parents
- Q & A: Battered Spouses, Children and Parents Under VAWA
- Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence
- Guidance For Approved VAWA Self-Petitioners
- Revocation of VAWA-Based Self-Petitions
Other VAWA Resources
- Apply for a VAWA Green Card
- How to Prove Your VAWA Case
- Waivers and Exceptions to Grounds of Inadmissibility
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013
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