The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a key piece of legislation in protecting victims of gender-based violence in the United States. While the law has generally focused on supporting women, it also provides opportunities for people of other genders and sexual orientations.
In this article, Jaskot Law will explain the essential details of how VAWA for men who are victims of gender-based violence applies, its requirements and eligibility, what the application process is like, and the benefits they can obtain through this legislation.
Can men apply for residency under VAWA?
VAWA is often associated with women, but can men apply for residency under this legislation? The answer is yes, there exists the possibility to apply for residency through VAWA for men.
The act recognizes that men can also be victims of abuse and violence, whether by spouses, partners, or family members. In addition, they may file a petition under VAWA to seek protection, and obtain legal status in the United States.
Eligibility to apply for residency through VAWA for Men
Like other individuals, men who wish to apply for residency under VAWA must meet certain criteria established by the immigration authorities. These include, among others, the following:
- Being a victim of gender-based violence: Petitioners must demonstrate that they were victims of gender-based violence, which may include physical, emotional or psychological abuse, by a spouse, partner or family member.
- Possessing a relationship with the abuser: Injured parties must have a qualifying relationship with the abuser, either as an abused spouse, a parent abused by an adult citizen child, or a minor child abused by a citizen parent.
- Residing in the United States: The petitioner must be physically present in the country at the time of filing Form I-485.
- Good moral character: They must demonstrate good moral character, i.e., they must not have harmed others, lied on an application process, or helped a family member enter the country illegally. Besides, they must not have a criminal record.
Process to apply for residency through VAWA for men
The process of applying for residency under VAWA involves several essential steps that men, and anyone else, must follow. These include:
|1- Gather evidence||Proof that they were a victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or mistreatment by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse. This may include documents such as police reports, restraining orders, medical records, witness testimony, and photographs.|
|2- File Form I-360||Complete and file Form I-360, Petition for Self-Petition under VAWA. This form is the initial step in applying for residency under this law. Petitioners should be sure to include all required information and attach evidence to support their case.|
|3- Submit eligibility documentation||In addition to Form I-360, they must provide documentation of their eligibility. This includes evidence of the relationship with the abuser, evidence of the abuser’s citizenship or legal residence, evidence of the violence suffered, and evidence of good moral character.|
|4- Interview (if required)||After reviewing the petition and the evidence presented, the USCIS may schedule an interview with the petitioner to obtain more information about his or her case. They should be prepared to answer questions about their relationship with the aggressor and the violence suffered.|
|5- Application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485)||Once your VAWA petition is approved, you will be able to file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This form will allow you to apply for legal permanent residence.|
Don’t be overwhelmed by the complexity of the process, you don’t need to face it alone. At Jaskot Law, we can advise and guide you on this path to a more secure life. Don’t hesitate to contact us and get help!
Benefits of applying for residency through VAWA for men
Applying for residency under VAWA can offer several benefits to men who were victims of gender-based violence. Among the most noteworthy are:
- Legal protection: Victims can seek residency without fear of retaliation from the perpetrator, as they can apply confidentially and securely.
- Legal status in the United States: Petitioners who obtain approval of the application are given the possibility to work and live in the country without fear of deportation.
- Access to support services: Beneficiaries can access support services, such as counseling and legal support, to help them rebuild their lives after violence.
- Access to social and employment benefits: After receiving permanent residency, the beneficiary can work legally, apply for citizenship after a certain period of time, and access medical and educational services.
What documentation do I need to submit to prove my abuse status?
When applying for residency under VAWA for men, it is crucial to present complete and solid documentation to support the case of abuse or mistreatment. Here are some types of documents you can submit:
- Medical reports: Records documenting physical injuries or medical conditions related to the abuse.
- Photographs: Photographs of visible injuries or property damage as visual evidence of the abuse suffered.
- Affidavits: Written and sworn statements from you and eyewitnesses who can confirm the abuse you experienced.
- Police records: Reports or complaints filed for incidents of domestic violence.
- Restraining orders: Copies of restraining or protective orders issued on your behalf as a result of the abuse.
- Financial documents: Proof of financial dependency, such as medical bills or shared accounts, that demonstrate the relationship with your abusive spouse or partner.
- Correspondence: Emails, text messages or other communications that show evidence of abuse or threats.
- Legal assistance records: Documentation showing that you sought legal advice or assistance in connection with the abuse.
- Personal statement: A detailed and complete statement of your experience of abuse, explaining when and how the incidents occurred.
Remember that the quality and authenticity of the documentation you submit can have a significant impact on your case. Therefore, it is important to consult with an immigration attorney to ensure that you provide adequate information. At Jaskot Law, we can guide you.
VAWA provides an important way for victims of gender-based violence, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Therefore, men can also seek protection and legal status in the United States if they meet the requirements.
In fact, they can apply for residency under this law and access benefits that will help them rebuild their lives. No matter the gender, gender-based violence is unacceptable, and VAWA provides the necessary support for those who experience it.
Don’t hesitate to explore this option, and seek the support you need to start a new chapter in your life. If you don’t know where to start, our team of immigration law attorneys will help you take the first step towards a secure life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can immigrant men apply for residency under VAWA?
Yes, eligible immigrant men can apply for residency under VAWA if they are victims of gender-based violence.
How long does it take to get a decision on a VAWA petition?
Processing time can vary, but it can usually take several months to get a decision on a VAWA petition.
Can men get custody of their children as part of the VAWA petition?
Yes, VAWA recognizes the importance of child safety and allows parents to petition for child custody and welfare as part of the process.
Can I apply for residency under VAWA if my spouse is no longer a citizen or resident?
Yes, in certain cases, you may still be eligible to apply for residency under VAWA, even if your spouse is no longer a citizen or resident.