Information for battered spouse, children and parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

 

 

 

You may file an immigrant visa petition under the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) as a decrepit spouse, child or parent. Without the abuser’s knowledge VAWA allows certain spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) to file a petition for themselves. This will allow you to seek both safety and independence from the abuser. The provisions of VAWA apply equally to women and men. Your abuser will not be notified that you have filed for immigration benefits under VAWA.

From the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD) help is also available. Including information about filing for immigration status the hotline has information about shelters, mental health care, legal advice and other types of assistance.

Who are eligible to file?

  1. The abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident may file for them self. If they have not filed for themselves you may also include on your petition your unmarried children who are under 21.
  2. If you are the parent of a child who has been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse you may file for yourself. If they have not filed for themselves you may include on your petition your children, including those who have not been abused. You may also file if you are the parent of a U.S. citizen, and you have been abused by your U.S. citizen son or daughter.
  3. If you are an abused child under 21 unmarried and have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent you may file for yourself. Your children may also be included on your petition. You may file for yourself as a child after age 21 but before age 25 if you can demonstrate that the abuse was the main reason for the delay in filing.

Eligibility Criteria for a Spouse

  • You are:
    • married to a US citizen or permanent resident abuser  or
    • your marriage to the abuser was terminated by death or a divorce (related to the abuse) within the 2 years prior to filing, or
    • your spouse lost or renounced citizenship or permanent resident status within the 2 years prior to filing due to an incident of domestic violence, or
    • you believed that you were legally married to your abusive US citizen or permanent resident spouse but the marriage was not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse.
  • You are
    • have been abused in the US by your US citizen or permanent resident spouse, or
    • have been abused by your US citizen or permanent resident spouse abroad while your spouse was employed by the US government or a member of the US uniformed services, or
    • are the parent of a child who has been subjected to abuse by your US citizen or permanent spouse.
  • You entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits.
  • You have resided with your spouse.
  • You are a person of good moral character.


Eligibility Requirements for a Child

  • You:
    • are the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser
    • were the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser who lost citizenship or lawful permanent resident status due to an incident of domestic violence
    • have been abused in the United States by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent
    • have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent abroad while your parent was employed by the U.S. government or a member of the U.S. uniformed services
    • have resided with the abusive parent
    • have evidence to prove your relationship to your parent
    • must provide evidence of good moral character if you are over the age of 14

Eligibility Requirements for a Parent

  • You are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter or were the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence or died within 2 years prior to filing
  • You have been abused by your U.S. citizen son or daughter
  • You have resided with the abusive son or daughter
  • You are a person of good moral character

Petition filing process

  • You must complete the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, including all supporting documentation
  • You must file the form with the Vermont Service Center (VSC)
  • If you meet all filing requirements, you will receive a notice (Prima Facie Determination Notice) valid for 150 days that you can present to government agencies that provide certain public benefits to certain victims of domestic violence
  • If your Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant  is approved and you do not have legal immigration status in the United States, we may place you in deferred action, which allows you to remain in the United States

Working in the United States

If you have an approved Form I-360 and have been placed in deferred action, you are eligible to apply to work in the United States. To apply to work in the US, you must file the Form I-765, Application for Employment authorization
, with the Vermont Service Center. Your children listed on your approved Form I-360, may also apply for work authorization. If you have an approved Form I-360, you may be eligible to file for a green card permanent residence. Your children listed on your approved Form I-360 may also be eligible to apply for a green card.

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: