Battered spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens may be eligible for special immigration concessions under VAWA – the Violence Against Women Act – regardless of gender or age. In some cases, victims of domestic violence are eligible for immigrant visas and green cards.
Victims of domestic violence can file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services without telling the abuser they’re doing so. The U.S. government will not notify the abuser, either, which is a way of protecting people from further violence while allowing them to plan their own futures.
Spouses, children and parents may be eligible to file a VAWA petition as outlined here.
If you’re the spouse of a U.S. citizen abuser, you may be eligible for VAWA immigration for yourself and your children if you:
- Are or were married to the abuser (if you are no longer married, your marriage must have been terminated by death or divorce within the two years prior to filing), or if your spouse lost or renounced American citizenship within two years before you filed due to a domestic violence incident
- Have (or your child has) suffered battery or extreme cruelty at the hands of your spouse
- Entered into your marriage in good faith – not just for immigration benefits
- Have lived with your spouse
- Are a person of good moral character
If you’re the parent of an abusive child and you’re in the U.S. with that child, you may be eligible if:
- Your child is 21 or older when you file the petition
- You are the parent of a former citizen who lost or renounced citizenship status related to a domestic violence incident
- You are the parent of a child who died within two years prior to the date you file your petition
- You have suffered battery or extreme cruelty at the hands of your U.S. citizen child
- You have lived with the child
- You are a person of good moral character
As the child of a U.S. citizen and a victim of abuse, you may be eligible if:
- You are under the age of 21 and unmarried
- You are being or have been abused by your parent
As a child, you may be able to file up to the age of 25 if the abuse was what caused your delay in filing.
Do You Need Immigration Advice?
Whether you want to learn more about VAWA immigration or another type of immigration, we’re here to help. You can reach us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your immigration consultation today.