The immigration-related provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) were created to address the issue of immigrant spouses in abusive relationships who remain in such relationships due to fear relating to their immigration status. VAWA allows battered and abused spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents to self-petition as a means of helping them to escape the abuse without fear of their immigration status being used against them. Despite its name, VAWA relief is available equally to both women and men.
The general requirements for a VAWA Self-Petition are:
If a VAWA Self-Petition is approved, the applicant is eligible for employment authorization. If the abusive spouse is a U.S. citizen, the approved VAWA self-petitioner is eligible to immediately apply for a green card. if the abusive spouse is a permanent resident, the VAWA self-petitioner must "wait in line" for a visa to become available before applying for a green card.
We welcome you to contact the Brian M. Wang | Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP to schedule a consultation about how we may be of service in your immigration matter. Based in the Albany, NY Capital District area, we assist clients throughout New York, in all 50 states, and worldwide with United States immigration law.