VAWA Protections for Survivors of Family Violence

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Austin VAWA Lawyers

Spouses, children, and parents of abusive U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents may be eligible to seek immigration benefits under provisions of the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA. The VAWA provisions provide immigrant victims of abuse with a means to obtain immigration benefits without the participation of the abusive citizen or resident family member. The VAWA immigration benefits were created as a response to the frequency with which abusers use the victim’s lack of immigration status as a means of control and further victimization. The VAWA self-petition, therefore, eliminates the requirement that a petition be filed by a family member in order to grant the beneficiary lawful immigration status in the United States.

VAWA Eligibility

In order to be eligible to receive benefits under VAWA, the self-petitioner must show that:

  1. He or she has a qualifying relationship with a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. Qualifying relationships include spousal relationships and parent-child relationships. Self petitioners may be spouses, minor children, adult children in some circumstances, or parents of abusive citizens or residents of the United States.
  2. He or she has cohabitated with the U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident for a minimum of six months.
  3. He or she has suffered abuse or extreme cruelty.
  4. He or she is a person of good moral character.

Contact Our Austin VAWA Lawyers Today

Like all immigration benefits, eligibility for VAWA protections is a complex matter and determination of one’s eligibility requires thorough analysis of law and facts. Consultation with an experienced immigration practitioner is recommended before making any application for VAWA benefits.

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