Violence Against Women Act – Houston VAWA Attorney Gasana
If you think you qualify as a battered non-citizen spouse, you may be eligible for legal permanent residence (green card) under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Contact a Houston VAWA immigration lawyer today. We can help you learn more about this legal path of entry into the United States and guide you through the process.
Our experienced Texas VAWA attorneys understand high stakes and the urgency of these cases, and we are here to dedicate our work towards your case. Contact our law offices today to schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys.
What is Violence Against Women Act?
As a battered spouse, child or parent, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The VAWA provisions in the INA allow certain spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.
The VAWA provisions, which apply equally to women and men, are permanent and do not require congressional reauthorization.
Help is also available from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD). The hotline has information about shelters, mental health care, legal advice and other types of assistance, including information about filing for immigration status. For more information, visit the National Domestic Violence website.
Those Eligible to File:
Spouse : You may file for yourself if you are, or were, the abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You may also file as an abused spouse if your son or daughter has been abused by your spouse. You may also include on your petition your unmarried children who are under 21 if they have not filed for themselves.
Parent : You may file if you are the a father or a mother of a U.S. citizen, and you have been abused by your son or daughter.
Child : You may file for yourself if you are an abused son or daughter under 21, unmarried and have been abused by your father or mother. Your children may also be included on your petition. You may also file for yourself as a son or a daughter after age 21 but before age 25 if you can demonstrate that the abuse was the main reason for the delay in filing.
VAWA Eligibility Requirements for a Spouse
Qualifying spousal relationship:
- You are married to a U.S. citizen or green card holder abuser or
- your marriage to the abuser was terminated by death or a divorce (related to the abuse) within the 2 years prior to filing your petition, or
- your spouse lost or renounced citizenship or permanent resident status within the 2 years prior to filing your petition due to an incident of domestic violence, or
- you believed that you were legally married to your abusive citizen or LPR spouse but the marriage was not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse.
- You have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your spouse
- You have been abused by your spouse, or
- your son or daughter has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by your U.S. or permanent resident spouse.
- You entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits.
- You have resided with your spouse.
- You are a person of good moral character.
VAWA Eligibility Requirements for a Child
Qualifying parent/child relationship:
- You are the son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser, or
- you are the son or daughter of abuser who lost citizenship or lawful permanent resident status due to an incident of domestic violence.
- You have suffered battery/extreme cruelty by your father or mother.
- You have resided with your abusive father or mother.
- You are a person of good moral character; a child less than 14 years of age is presumed to be a person of good moral character
VAWA Requirements for a Parent
Qualifying parent/son or daughter relationship:
- You are the father or the mother of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who is at least 21 years of age when the self-petition is filed, or
- you are the father or the mother of son or daughter who lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence, or
- you are the father or the mother of a son or daughter who was at least 21 years of age and who died within 2 years prior to filing the self-petition.
- You have suffered battery or extreme cruelty by your son or daughter.
- You have resided with the abusive son or daughter.
- You are a person of good moral character.