Complete Guide of VAWA for Parents of a Citizen Child

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is an important immigration legislation that provides protection for victims of abuse and domestic violence in the United States. While its name suggests that it is designed primarily for women, VAWA also provides options for abused parents of U.S. citizen children.

At Jaskot Law, we tell you in detail what is VAWA for parents of citizen children, the requirements and eligibility to apply for it, as well as the benefits it offers, and the necessary documentation to file the application.

Table of Contents

    VAWA for parents of a citizen child: how to apply?

    In family cases, many victims wonder whether it is possible to apply for VAWA if they are parents abused by their citizen child. The short answer is yes, you can.

    VAWA allows parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children who were victims of abuse or mistreatment by such children to apply for immigrant classification. Moreover, they can do so without relying on the help or cooperation of the abuser.

    This law seeks to protect parents who are in vulnerable situations, giving them an opportunity to escape an abusive environment, and obtain a pathway to permanent residency in the United States.

    Requirements and eligibility to apply for VAWA as a parent of a citizen child

    To be eligible for VAWA as the parent of a citizen child, certain requirements established by the Act must be met. These include:

    • Relationship to the citizen child: The applicant must be the parent of a child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
    • Mistreatment or abuse: Parents must show that they were physically or emotionally abused by the citizen child. It is essential to provide solid evidence and documentation to support allegations of abuse.
    vawa citizen child
    To be eligible for VAWA as the parent of a citizen child, certain requirements established by the Act must bemet.
    • Residence with the child: The applicant must have lived or be living in the United States with the citizen child.
    • Good moral character: A clean record in terms of criminal record and criminal activities will be required.

    If you would like to learn more about the benefits available to an abused parent under VAWA, contact Jaskot Law, and we will advise you on the matter. Contact us!

    How to apply for VAWA

    To apply for a VAWA self-petition, the following documentation must be submitted:

    • Form I-360: Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant, to be filed at the secure location corresponding to the place where the petitioners reside.
    • Evidence: Any documentation showing that you meet all the eligibility requirements to apply for a VAWA visa.

    According to USCIS, approval of Form I-360 does not provide immigration status to applicants or derivative beneficiaries, but it rather provides them with an immigration classification so that they may apply for lawful permanent residence.

    VAWA benefits for parents of citizen children

    Successfully applying for VAWA as the parent of a citizen child can provide several benefits to the applicant. Among some of them, the following stand out:

    • Self-petition for immigrant classification: VAWA allows abused parents to file their own immigrant petition, which means that they will not need the cooperation or consent of the abuser.
    • Work permit: During the process, the applicant may be eligible to obtain a temporary work permit that will allow them to work legally in the United States while their application is being resolved.
    • Access to support services: VAWA applicants can access support services and resources to help them deal with the emotional and physical aftermath of abuse, providing them with an essential support network during this difficult process.

    Documentation required to apply for VAWA

    To file a VAWA application as the parent of a citizen child, a variety of documents supporting the applicant’s eligibility and allegations of abuse will be required. Some of the essential documents are:

    • Proof of relationship: Documents showing the relationship to the citizen child, such as birth certificates or marriage certificates.
    • Evidence of abuse: Police reports, witness affidavits, photographs. or any other evidence to support allegations of abuse.
    • Proof of U.S. residency: Proof of address, utility bills, rental agreements, among others.
    • Proof of citizenship of the child: Copy of the passport or birth certificate of the citizen child.
    vawa citizen child
    A variety of documents will be required to support the eligibility and allegations of the abused parent by a citizen child.


    The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offers a valuable option for parents abused by citizen children. In fact, it allows them to seek protection and security without getting their aggressors involved.

    By meeting the requirements and presenting the proper documentation, abused parents may have the opportunity to obtain immigrant classification and take a step toward a better life in the United States.

    At Jaskot Law, our team of immigration law attorneys can help you with your domestic violence case. Contact us at [email protected], and start the process towards your family’s well-being.



    Form I-360 for VAWA Self-Petitioners

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I apply for VAWA if my child is neither a legal permanent resident nor a U.S. citizen?

    No, VAWA only applies to parents of U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children.

    Can I apply for VAWA if my child is no longer living in the United States?

    Yes, as long as you have previously lived in the U.S. with your U.S. citizen child, and have been abused by said child.

    How long does the VAWA application process take?

    Processing times may vary, but USCIS usually provides updated information on estimated processing times.