VAWA VISA: What is it, how to apply and what are its benefits?

Jaskot Law tells you all about the VAWA visa and what you need to know to apply for it.

If you are or were a victim of domestic violence, this note is for you. Jaskot Law Office will tell you everything you need to know about the VAWA visa, how to apply for it, its requirements and benefits.

Table of Contents

    What is the VAWA visa?

    The VAWA visa owes its acronym to the Violence Against Women Act. In force since 1994, it was approved by the U.S. Congress and is of great importance for both citizens and immigrants.

    It is a law created especially to protect vulnerable people, victims of domestic violence, both physical and psychological. The key is that the abuser must be the victim’s spouse and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The VAWA visa can also be applied for if the offender is a son or daughter over 21 years of age, as long as he or she is a citizen or resident.

    Who can apply for the VAWA visa?

    Anyone applying for a VAWA visa must be an immigrant. It does not matter the conditions under which you entered the United States, whether it was documented or undocumented, or the type of visa you entered with.

    The only thing relevant to the case is that evidence is presented that she is a victim of domestic violence, and that the abuser is a citizen or resident, spouse or child.

    This article is about the VAWA visa. The image is merely illustrative.
    If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should know that you always have options The VAWA visa is one!

    VAWA visa benefits

    The VAWA visa gives victims a work permit, a social number, the ability to get on with their lives without fear of deportation. It is the one-way path to regulated immigration status for victims of domestic abuse who often rely on their abusers when applying for status. This VAWA visa self-petition changes everything, making it possible for victims who are close relatives of U.S. citizens and/or lawful permanent residents to apply for immigration status individually.

    Another great advantage of the VAWA visa is that the public charge does not apply to it. If you decide to apply, you don’t have to worry about that.

    This article is about the VAWA visa. The image is merely illustrative.
    The VAWA visa is a one-way path to immigration status regulation.

    Do I need to submit evidence?

    Being able to show the jury that there is evidence of violence is key. Applying for a VAWA visa is not easy, but the easiest way is when there is a police report involved, that is, when there is a call to the police and they intervene.

    If there are no police reports, because the victims do not call or for any other reason, the process becomes more complex. In the world of domestic abuse, it is very common for victims to want to protect the abuser. That is why in many cases there is no evidence of the crime. In such cases, other resources have to be tapped.

    For example, the reports of a psychologist can be consulted. Sometimes the abuser has a mental illness and the victim can document this because he has seen a mental health professional, or has been hospitalized, or takes medication. That is, different types of evidence as to why this person might engage in violence.

    There are many cases in which the abuser is a son or daughter of immigrants, and they end up exercising physical or psychological violence against their parents. It happens that victims do not usually call the police or report in these cases, so there is no way to prove the abuse. But hospital records, criminal reports or police charges for other crimes are considered valid evidence to prove that the parents’ hardship is real, and they can then apply for the VAWA visa.

    Will asking for it affect my abuser?

    It is very common for the victim to want to protect the abuser. The reasons for this are various, and are not the concern of the lawyer or anyone else involved. The only thing that matters is to protect the victim, and to do so, they must be offered all the necessary tools.

    If you are a victim of domestic violence and need support, do not hesitate to contact us. We will treat your case with the utmost respect and confidentiality.

    VAWA does not affect the abuser’s immigration status, since he is already a U.S. citizen or resident. On the other hand, applying for a VAWA visa will not harm the abuser, but he has harmed himself by committing the crime.

    This article is about the VAWA visa. The image is merely illustrative.
    Remember: you are not alone

    Work permits for victims of violence

    How does this process work?

    The process to apply for a VAWA visa begins by filling out an application. Today, it takes approximately one year for such an application to be processed and for a decision to be made by the officials in charge. Once approved, you will be able to apply for a green card and begin adjustment of status.

    Sometimes, it is even possible to process VAWA and green card simultaneously, especially if the offender is a U.S. citizen. In the case of a permanent resident, this can also be done at the same time, but only if he/she is the victim’s spouse.

    If the applicant is in the United States, no matter what type of visa he/she has, and whether he/she came with or without papers, he/she will be able to access the VAWA visa. The only thing that matters is that this person is a victim and is asking for a status settlement from within the country.

    If you are a victim of domestic violence and you are reading this article, please talk to a lawyer and ask all your questions, make a decision. The immigration law firm of Jaskot Law is here for you. Contact us at +1 (410) 235-6868 or via web.

    What is a VAWA visa?

    A VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) visa is a special visa that allows certain victims of domestic violence to obtain legal status in the United States.

    Who is eligible for a VAWA visa?

    Persons who are eligible for a VAWA visa include abused spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents, abused children of U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and abused parents of U.S. citizens. A person who has been the subject of a fraudulent marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident may also be eligible.

    How do I apply for a VAWA visa?

    To apply for a VAWA visa, you must file Form I-360 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is important to present documentary evidence of the abusive relationship and documents proving your eligibility for the visa. In addition, it is advisable to have the help of an immigration attorney for the process.

    Can I apply for a VAWA visa if I am already in deportation proceedings?

    Yes, it is possible to apply for a VAWA visa even if you are in deportation proceedings. However, you should be aware that the process may be more complex and you should take steps to avoid deportation during the application process.

    What are the benefits of a VAWA visa?

    The benefits of a VAWA visa include obtaining legal status in the United States, the ability to work and study in the country, and the possibility of applying for permanent residency and citizenship in the future. In addition, once the application is approved, you can apply for work authorization and obtain a Social Security number.