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In order to qualify for VAWA:

  1. Your abusive relative is or was a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or child.
  2. As the victim, you livedwith the abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, in or out of the United States.
  3. As the abused family member, you must be a person of “good moral character.”
  4. The abuse must constitute battery or “extreme cruelty” which can include psychological or emotional abuse – as the abused family member you need not suffer physical abuse to be eligible.
  5. To qualify as a “child” under immigration law, you generally have to be under 21 years of age and can’t be married.This includes step-child if the relationship started before your 18th birthday. It also includes adoption as long as the adoption was finalized before your 16th birthday and you were in your adoptive parent’s physical and legal custody for two years.
  6. To qualify as a “spouse” under immigration law the marriage must be legal and valid wherever the marriage took place.