What crimes does the VAWA visa waive for its beneficiaries?

Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world regardless of gender, age, or nationality. In an effort to protect victims of such abuse, the United States enacted the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted in the United States.

In this context, it is important to understand what the VAWA visa waives in terms of crimes. At Jaskot Law, the team will provide you with all the information, from the list of crimes it waives, the ones it does not, and other relevant data. Keep on reading!

Table of Contents

    Reviewing the basics of the VAWA visa

    The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted in 1994 in the United States as a measure to combat domestic and sexual violence. Although its original name refers to women, its protections extend to men and children who are victims of abuse.

    VAWA allows victims of domestic violence to apply for permanent residency in the U.S. without relying on their abuser. This strengthens the position of victims by allowing them to seek help and protection without fear of retaliation because of their immigration status.

    what the VAWA visa waives
    While it is an extremely valuable resource for every victim of abuse, it is important to understand that, as with any process, it is nuanced. Therefore, it is essential to understand what does the VAWA visa waive in terms of crimes before applying for this visa.

    What crimes does the VAWA visa waive?

    While this remedy is a gateway to redemption for those who have suffered abuse, it is important to understand what the VAWA visa waives. The following are the most important ones:

    Crimes related to domestic violence

    VAWA offers waiver for certain domestic violence-related offenses. This includes physical assaults, threats, psychological intimidation, sexual abuse, and other criminal acts when committed by a family member or intimate partner of the immigrant. The waiver is granted on the understanding that the victim may have committed certain acts in self-defense or as a result of the abusive environment in which they found themselves.

    Immigration law violations

    In some cases, victims of abuse may have violated immigration law, such as by entering the country irregularly, overstaying, or working without authorization. VAWA allows these offenses to be waived, provided the victim proves that the abuse is directly related to the offense.

    Petty crimes and misdemeanors

    VAWA applicants may also receive waivers for certain misdemeanors such as petty theft, possession of controlled substances in minimal quantities, and minor traffic offenses. These waivers are considered in the context of the abuse suffered and with the understanding that the applicant’s behavior may have been influenced by his or her abusive situation.

    At Jaskot Law, we believe that it is crucial to understand each applicant’s situation and background in order to know how to proceed with the VAWA visa application. If you need advice, our team has the tools to help you.

    What crimes does the VAWA visa not waive?

    Now, in addition to understanding what VAWA waives, it is also necessary to know what crimes it does not waive, in order to face the process with clarity. The crimes it does not waive are the following:

    The intentional taking of another person’s life. It is considered one of the most serious crimes with severe penalties.
    Drug trafficking
    Illegal production, distribution or sale of controlled substances. Includes both domestic and international traffic.
    Money laundering
    A process by which the proceeds of illicit activities are concealed to make them appear to come from legal sources.
    Human trafficking
    Illegal transportation of people across borders for labor or sexual exploitation.
    Fraud or conspiracy to defraud the United States.
    Intentional deception or embezzlement directed at government entities or to obtain government benefits.
    The act of spying or using spies to obtain confidential or secret government information of a country.
    Violent acts or threats designed to intimidate or coerce a population or government to achieve a political or social objective.
    what the VAWA visa waives

    VAWA Cancellation of Removal: Eligibility and Requirements

    Cancellation of removal is a form of relief available to some noncitizens under VAWA. This provision allows survivors to demonstrate family ties to the abuser and signs of extreme abuse to stop deportation and obtain permanent residence.

    To be eligible for cancellation of removal under VAWA, an individual must meet certain requirements:

    • Have been present in the U.S. for at least three years prior to notification of your removal proceedings.
    • Have no felony or misdemeanor convictions that would disqualify you from eligibility under VAWA.
    • Demonstrate that deportation would cause extreme hardship to him, his children, or his parents who are citizens or legal residents.
    • Be a person of good moral character.
    • Have a history of abuse by a U.S. citizen, spouse or parent, or lawful permanent resident, or be the victim of abuse, as also applies in the case of children abused by their parents.

    By offering a pathway to stability, VAWA cancellation of removal is a vital tool for those in difficult situations. At Jaskot Law, we can provide you with this service and help you rebuild your life.


    In short, the VAWA visa is more than a regulation; it is an escape route for victims of domestic violence seeking a fresh start in the United States. By pardoning certain crimes and offering cancellation of removal, it allows victims to free themselves from abuse and take control of their lives.

    Understanding and legal support are crucial in this process, as it highlights the humanity and commitment to protecting the most vulnerable. To Jaskot Law, the VAWA visa symbolizes a step toward justice and hope for those who have suffered in silence. Contact us if you need help!



    Permanent Residency for VAWA Self-Petitioner

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can a person with a felony record qualify for a VAWA visa?

    Serious crimes generally disqualify a person from benefiting from the VAWA visa. Certain exceptions may apply if the victim can demonstrate that the crime is directly related to the abuse suffered and does not pose a threat to the community.

    How does a previous illegal entry into the country affect VAWA visa eligibility?

    A previous illegal entry does not automatically disqualify a person for a VAWA visa. The law allows some discretion to forgive unlawful entry if it is linked to the abuse suffered and the person meets other eligibility criteria.

    How long must one wait to apply for cancellation of removal under VAWA?

    To apply for cancellation of removal under VAWA, the petitioner must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least three years prior to the notice of removal proceedings and meet the other eligibility requirements.

    Are only women eligible for protection under VAWA or does it also include men and children?

    VAWA is not exclusive to women; It provides protection to any victim of abuse, regardless of gender. Both men and boys who meet the criteria can apply for the VAWA visa and receive its benefits.