Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): For Victims of Domestic Violence

VAWA (Victims of Domestic Violence)

Non-citizens who have been abused by a USC or LPR spouse, parent, or child may be eligible to apply for VAWA. They must prove:

  • That their abuser is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • That they entered into a legal, good faith marriage and cohabitated sometime during the marriage;
  • There was physical battery or extreme mental cruelty;
  • They are a person of good moral character.

Through VAWA you may be eligible to apply for Legal Permanent Residency (depending on abuser’s status). While your VAWA petition is pending and once it is approved you will be eligible to apply for certain public benefits and for a work permit. VAWA generally prevents non-citizens in removal proceeding from being deported.

If you can meet its requirements, VAWA offers powerful protection. You do have rights. Please do not hesitate to call me for a confidential consultation.