How can the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) help an abused spouse obtain lawful permanent residence (green card)?

Under VAWA, noncitizen victims of domestic violence may “self-petition” for U.S. residence without the cooperation of an abusive spouse. Victims may also self-petition if they are divorced as long as the marriage to the abusive spouse was terminated within two years of filing the petition. An approved VAWA self-petition provides the applicant with work authorization, […]

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5 Common Myths about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitions

The abuse must be physical. One requirement to qualify under VAWA is that the petitioner has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty. Domestic violence may be physical, but verbal abuse or emotional abuse are also forms of domestic violence and depending on the specific circumstances, may amount to extreme cruelty. Only women qualify for […]

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Applying for U.S. Citizenship

A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) can apply to become a U.S. citizen though a process called naturalization. While many permanent residents must maintain their resident status for at least five years before applying for citizenship, persons who are married to U.S. citizens, including certain applicants who obtained their residence following approval of a self-petition under […]

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