The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a law that allows non-citizens who are victims of domestic violence (or abuse) to get a visa or become a legal resident of the United States.
The purpose of VAWA is to make sure victims of domestic abuse can report the abuse and get help without worrying about their immigration status.
Requirements for VAWA
The abuser must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Spouses, former spouses, and children of an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident can apply. Here are some important things to know about the requirements for VAWA:
- The abuser does not have to be part of the process or even told that the process is happening. This is called self-petitioning.
- A parent can apply on behalf of their child.
- The person who is applying has to prove that the abuse is occurring or that the abuse occurred.
- The person who is applying has to prove that the victim is living or was living with the abuser.
- The victim must have good moral character.
VAWA protection benefits
You are given several benefits when you are approved for protection under VAWA:
- You could be given Deferred Action, which means you won’t be deported if you’re here without permission from the U.S. government.
- You can apply for a visa or permanent residency status.
- You can apply for an authorization to work so you can get a job.
- If you are supposed to be deported, it could be canceled.
Don’t do it alone—contact us
It is scary and stressful to apply for VAWA protection. You shouldn’t have to do it alone. We can answer your questions and help you with your concerns.