Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) male ad female immigrant victims of domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse may “self-petition” for lawful permanent resident status. The self-petition may be filed confidentially and safely without the abusers knowledge. Applicants whose applications are approved will be provided with work authorization, deferred action, and an approved immigrant petition which allows the applicant to apply for lawful permanent residence (a “green card”).

 The following persons may file a VAWA self-petition:

  • Spouses and former spouses of abusive U.S. Citizens or lawful permanent residents. Divorced spouses may self-petition if the termination of the marriage was related to the abuse and if the application is filed within two years of the termination of the marriage.
  • Children of abusive citizens or lawful permanent residents who file before turning 25.
  • An immigrant parent of an abused immigrant child, even if the immigrant parent is not herself or himself abused.
  • Non-citizen spouses whose children are abused by the child’s other U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident parent.

In addition to proving abuse, the applicant must also prove: their relationship to the abuser; that they have good moral character; that the marriage was in “good faith” if the abuser is a spouse or step-parent; the immigration status of the U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, parent, or child; and that they resided with the abusive family member.

To consult with a compassionate attorney who will advocate on behalf of you and your children, contact the Law Office of Karen Winston today. (904) 723-4570