The Violence Against Women Act is one of the truly great benefits provided under U.S. immigration law. VAWA allows women and men who are married to abusive U.S. Citizen or Green Card spouses to self-petition for a green card. Therefore, she or he no longer needs to remain with the abusive spouse to obtain a green card. VAWA applies to children of abusive parents as well.
Benefits of VAWA:
- Will allow an abused applicant to apply for a green card on their own without having to rely on abusive spouse
- Will forgive unlawful entry to the United States
- Will permit an applicant to remain in the United States even though he or she is not technically in status
- Will provide work authorization
- Will cover children
- A person is eligible while married, while separated and up to two years after a divorce is obtained
Other important aspects of VAWA:
- Completely confidential, meaning that DHS is not allowed to contact the abusive spouse about the petition
- DHS is not allowed to consider information provided by the abusive spouse when determining an applicant's eligibility for the VAWA petition
Many abused women are scared to file for a green card on their own, because they are afraid their abusive spouses will find out and hurt them. THESE CASES ARE COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL so the spouse will not find out about the pending VAWA claim.
VAWA petitions can be filed by applicants who have pending green card applications or those who have not filed any immigration papers at all. First, the petition is filed with DHS. Once it is approved, the applicant files for a green card with DHS. For applicants who are not immediately eligible to file for a green card after the VAWA is approved, DHS has a long standing policy of granting work authorization and allowing these persons to remain in the U.S., even though she or he technically has no status.
The Law Office of Christine Troy has successfully obtained VAWA approvals and green cards for many abused women and children and encourages those who are eligible to take advantage of this very generous law. Please rest assured that all calls and information you provide is confidential and will not be shared with anyone without the applicant's permission.