The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was originally passed by Congress in 1994 and most recently reauthorized in 2013. Importantly, VAWA provides protection to certain victims of domestic violence regardless of whether the victim is a man or a woman.

Under VAWA, an abused spouse (husband or wife) or child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident or an abused parent of a U.S. citizen may file a self-petition for lawful permanent resident status in the United States, receive employment authorization and access public benefits.

Importantly, qualifying immigrant survivors of domestic violence can file a VAWA self-petition without their abuser’s knowledge or assistance. This provides domestic violence survivors with the means that are essential to escaping violence and establishing safe and independent lives.

In order to qualify for VAWA, a self-petitioning husband or wife of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident abusive spouse must establish:

  • His or her spouse is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States (if divorced, the self-petition must be filed within two (2) years of the divorce and demonstrate a connection between the divorce and the abuse);
  • His or her marriage to the abusive spouse was in good faith;
  • He or she lives or lived together with the abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse;
  • He or she has good moral character;
  • He or she has suffered extreme cruelty or abuse by his or her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse.

** A self-petitioning spouse may include unmarried children under the age of 21 in his/her petition regardless of whether the child suffered abuse.

In order to qualify for VAWA, a self-petitioning child of a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen abusive parent must establish:

  • He or she is under the age of 21 and is unmarried;
  • His or her parent or step-parent is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States;
  • He or she resided with the abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent or step-parent;
  • He or she has good moral character;
  • He or she has suffered extreme cruelty or abuse by his or her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent or step-parent.

In order to qualify for VAWA, a self-petitioning parent of a U.S. citizen abusive child must establish:

  • His or her child is a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old;
  • He or she resided with the abusive U.S. citizen child;
  • He or she has good moral character;
  • He or she has suffered extreme cruelty or abuse by his or her U.S. citizen child.

K & A Monthly Newsletter

Please sign up for our monthly Email Newsletter.

Office Location and Directions

Kolko & Associates, P.C.
303 East 17th Avenue
Suite 585
Denver, Colorado 80203

Call us today:
303-371-1822
Fax:
303-373-1822

Connect with us

© 2016 Kolko & Associates
Disclaimer | Sitemap
Attorney Website Design by Legal Web Design

Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.