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VAWA Immigration: Self-Petition for the Abused
VAWA Immigration Lawyers in Eatontown, New Jersey
Being a victim of domestic violence is not something that anyone wants to go through. Nobody wants to bear the mental or physical load that comes with it. However, you may believe that there is no way out of your terrible predicament since you are terrified of losing your chance to earn a green card in the United States.
You don’t have to be afraid, our Andres Mejer Law immigration attorneys are here to give legal representation and help you break free from the constraints of your situation.
Immigration law is complicated and needs the services of someone who has been practicing immigration law for many years. Especially if the immigration would be done under VAWA.
VAWA allows those victims of abuse to self-petition to get their immigration status. Essentially, this gives survivors of domestic abuse to get away from their violent situation in order to live a safe and independent life.
Let us help you break the shackles and contact us so we can discuss your situation.
Why Do I Need a VAWA Immigration Lawyer for VAWA Self-Petition Immigration?
In most VAWA immigration cases, the burden of rounding up documents and evidence that will help you establish your case is always confronted by the applicants. Most importantly, providing documentation or evidence (e.g., green card or birth certificate) proving that your abuser was a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
This sort of burden is the reason why you need an experienced VAWA immigration lawyer from Andres Mejer Law who has handled situations like this before.
Our immigration attorneys have been equipped with experience in immigration court proceedings. We are well-versed in immigration laws, having studied them numerous times. We are well-rounded and highly skilled lawyers who offer a wide range of immigration legal services.
Furthermore, our devotion and enthusiasm for fighting against the abuse make us more ideal for your case since we regard you as a family that will be there for you every step of the way, rather than as a client.
What is VAWA Immigration or VAWA Self-Petition?
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) permits victims of domestic violence perpetrated by a U.S. citizen to self-petition to become legal permanent residents in the United States. Through a VAWA self-petition, victims can obtain legal status without the interference or help of the abuser.
In some cases, the victim has to rely on the abuser to file for their immigration status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). This makes it difficult for victims to obtain their lawful permanent residency (green card) since the abuser may threaten them that he/she would not file them. However, this is bypassed by VAWA.
VAWA is available to abused or beaten spouses or children of a U.S. Citizen or LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident), or an abused parent of a U.S. Citizen.
When it comes to abuse, the USCIS considers the following to be abuse:
- sexual exploitation or usage,
- threats to expel or hand over the immigrant to immigration authorities,
- confinement under duress,
- or threatened or conducted acts of violence against another person to shape the behavior of the immigrant.
Who is Eligible for a VAWA Self-Petition?
VAWA is applicable for those spouses who were abused or battered by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You can also add your unmarried child in your petition if he or she is under the age of 21 and is or was abused by your spouse.
Suppose you have been abused by your parents, either US citizens or permanent residents. In that case, you can submit a VAWA self-petition. To be eligible, you must be under the age of 21 and unmarried. You may also file for this petition until you are 25 years old, as long as you can demonstrate that the abuse caused the delay.
If your U.S. citizen child has abused you, then you are eligible for a VAWA petition.
What Should you Prove?
If you intend to use the VAWA petition, you must first meet the following requirements:
- You must have a qualifying relationship with the abuser, such as being a child, spouse, or parent (the abusive child should be 21 years old or older).
- You are currently living or have previously lived with an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative.
- You have good moral character.
- If your partner abuses you (e.g., violence, serious mental or physical cruelty) during your marriage. Also, the marriage should be in good faith, not only to get a green card or to circumvent immigration regulations.
- It is important to note that even if your marriage was ended by death (only for U.S. citizen spouses) or divorce (for reasons connected to the abuse), you are still eligible as long as it occurred within the two years prior to filing your petition.
But what if you are not in the United States at the time you file your self-petition? Is the VAWA petition still available to you? Certainly, however, you must demonstrate:
- That the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative who is the abuser is either an employee of the U.S. government or a member of the U.S. armed forces.
- The abuse happened in the United States.
What Should I Prepare?
You must gather and submit the relevant documentation for your VAWA self-petition, just as you would for any other immigration process. These are as follows:
- USCIS Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant,
- Documents demonstrating that you match the above-mentioned qualifying requirements.
- Documents or proof to back up your claim that you were a victim of abuse.
Remember that if you included a derivative beneficiary in your petition, you must show that the identified derivative beneficiary was under the age of 21 and unmarried at the time of filing, as well as documentation of your connection with your child.
What Happens if my Form I-360 is Approved?
It is important to remember that an approved Form l-360 does not automatically result in a green card. Basically, this serves as a way for you and your named derivative beneficiaries to obtain lawful permanent residence (Green Card).
However, even if it does not provide you lawful permanent residence, if your Form I-360 is granted, you are still eligible for the following:
- Eligibility for various government benefits. You will be eligible for some federal and state public benefits if you can show prima facie (initial review) eligibility for Form I-360 or have an approved Form I-360. For the prima facie eligibility, once you have established this when you file Form I-360, then a Notice of Prima Facie Case (NPFC) will be handed to you. You can use this to avail the available benefits.
- Employment authorization. This allows you to apply for jobs in the United States. Suppose you marked the box for an initial employment authorization document (EAD) on Form l-360. In that case, you will not need to file a second Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. If you did not request an initial EAD, you must complete a subsequent Form I-765 in order to get EADs. Form I-765 must be filed with the Vermont Service Center.
Begin your Immigration Journey now by Contacting our VAWA Immigration Lawyer!
As a law office that dedicated our years of law practice to immigration cases, we understand what you are going through. We are here to be your advocate as you start your journey with your VAWA immigration.
Our dedication to giving quality legal aid and representation to our clients proves that we are good at what we do, and we are more adept at handling your immigration case. We have handled different types of immigration concerns such as family-based immigration, Adjustment of status (getting a green card or changing permanent resident status), and more.
Let us begin unshackling you from your violent situation. Contact us now for a free legal strategy session.
“I had no problem reaching out to Andres Mejer. He has attended the court hearing and answered all the questions of the prosecutor…thank you, Andres!”
“I knew that I couldn’t just go to court alone to defend myself…but Andres was there to help me. He has helped me successfully apply for a U VIsa.”
“Nobody can help me in the past, but Attorney Andres Mejer was able to help me fix my immigration problem. He has guided me through the immigration process and has encouraged me to fight and never give up my freedom to live in the U.S.”
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Bridgewater Township, NJ 08807
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