VAWA: Violence Against Women Act
Helping Abused or Widowed Spouses Obtain Permanent Residence
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protects abused spouses and children against abusive United States citizens by giving such individuals the opportunity to self-petition for permanent residence in the United States without knowledge or support from the abusing party.
How Do I Qualify Under VAWA?
In order to self-petition for lawful permanent residence, one of the following requirements must be met:
- You are the spouse abused by a United States citizen of lawful permanent residence
- You are a parent of a child who has been abused by a United States citizen or lawful permanent residence
- You are the child, who is under the age of 21 and unmarried, abused by a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
Abused spouses may also include children under the age of 21 in the petition.
Further qualifications for spouses include:
- You are legally married to abusive United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
- You entered into marriage in good faith
- You have been battered in the United States (exceptions for government employees apply)
- You have been abused and subjected to extreme cruelty during the marriage
- You have good moral character
- You are the parent of child abused by U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
Further qualifications for children include:
- You have been abused by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent residence and qualifies as child under immigration law
If your spouse is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident and subjects you or your children to abusive patterns of behavior, time is of the essence to self-petition for lawful permanent residence.
Widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen
A widow or widower of U.S. citizen, who was married to the U.S. citizen at least 2 prior to the U.S. citizen's death, can self-petition for permanent residence.
Generally when the petitioner dies, the petition is legally considered to die as well. However, there are situations when USCIS will agree, based upon humanitarian considerations, to let the case continue. There are also special provisions for widowed spouses to apply on their own if they were married for at least two years before the spouse's death.
Please give us a call at (941) 877-6587 to schedule a consultation to discuss the requirements for a VAWA petition or a widow self-petition in more detail. Each individual situation is very unique, and we assure you that Anthony Olson, P.A. will handle your case with utmost discretion and confidentiality. Anthony Olson, P.A. has helped numerous clients to obtain lawful permanent residence through VAWA and widow self-petitions.
Our compassionate and skilled attorney is here to help you explore your immigration options. Contact Anthony Olson, P.A. to get the help that you deserve.