se habla español

English English French French Spanish Spanish

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

What is VAWA

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides federal grants and programs that help to prevent domestic violence, as well as to protect those who suffer from family abuse. One of the protections the Act provides is to allow domestic violence victims who are in the United States based on the citizenship or residency of a relative, such as a spouse, to apply for permanent residency.

Who is Eligible?

Victims of domestic violence and abuse from an immediate family member who is a US Citizen or lawful permanent resident are eligible to file a petition under the VAWA Act.

Those who are eligible include:

  • The abused spouse of a US Citizen or permanent resident. Please note that you do not need to married in order to file under VAWA. However, generally, you must file within two years of divorce to petition under VAWA.
  • If the spouse is not the victim, but a child or the children are being abused, the spouse is still eligible to apply.
  • Abused children.
  • Even though the Act refers specifically to women, men and children may apply under VAWA to petition for permanent residency as well.

VAWA applicants are able to self-petition for immigration benefits. This means you can petition for permanent residency without the abuser’s help or knowledge.

For assistance in filing VAWA applications with the USCIS call us, 678.250.5449, we want to hear from you.