VAWA allows victims of domestic violence to obtain immigration status or defend themselves against deportation or removal the immigration court.

An immigrant victim may be eligible to fix their status without leaving the United States if they meet certain eligibility requirements. If the immigrant victim has shown USCIS or an immigration judge that they are a victim of physical and/or psychological abuse, he or she will be permitted to stay in the United States with legal status, receive a work permit, and apply for a green card.

Who May File for VAWA?

  • Immigrant spouses (this includes male spouses) of U.S. citizens.
  • Immigrant spouses (this includes male spouses) of lawful permanent residents.
  • Immigrant children under 21 (this includes stepchildren)  of U.S. citizens.
  • Immigrant children under 21 (this includes stepchildren) of lawful permanent residents.
  • Parents of U.S. citizen children over 21.

What Are The Requirements To Qualify As A Victim?

The victim must show:

  • Marriage to the abusive U.S. citizen spouse or lawful permanent resident spouse.
  • That he/she lived with or is living with the abusive U.S. citizen spouse or lawful permanent resident spouse.
  • That he/she and the abusive spouse entered a bonafide (real) marriage.
  • That he/she is a person of good moral character.
  • If he/she is no longer married to the abusive U.S. citizen spouse or lawful permanent resident spouse, the divorce must be less than two years prior to the filing of the I-360 application.
  • That he/she suffered physical and/or psychological abuse during the marriage.

Male Victims and VAWA

Men are victims of abuse. Male victims go unreported because of the fear of being marked and shamed. Male immigrant victims who meet the requirements for VAWA may apply for this visa.

Victims who were abused outside the United States by their U.S. citizen spouses may qualify for VAWA

A victim of abuse may apply for VAWA outside the U.S. if their spouse or relative is an employee of the U.S. government or the U.S. armed forces.

No Reporting to Law Enforcement Requirement

Unlike the U visa and T visa, VAWA does not require the victim to report to law enforcement or file charges against their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse.

No Requirement for Physical Scars, Bruises or Medical Reports

Not all abuse is physical. An immigrant victim can still apply for VAWA if they have no physical scars, bruises, or medical reports with documented physical abuse. The abuse can be emotional and/or mental psychological abuse.

Do you need a VAWA lawyer?

Hiring an immigration lawyer is not required to apply for an immigration VAWA visa. However, it is important to note that applying for VAWA is confidential, but there is a chance your abuser spouse may get access to your immigration mail if you live with your abuser or if they know your address. Having a Fayetteville immigration lawyer can help protect your privacy and keep your VAWA application confidential since immigration will send the immigrant victim’s mail to the Law Office of Dahlia Castillo’s address.

A VAWA attorney can help you organize your evidence and your VAWA application. An important requirement is proving the immigration status of the victim’s abusive spouse. The victim will need document proof, like a U.S. birth certificate or green card, to prove the abusive spouse’s status. If the victim does not have document proof of the abusive spouse’s status, Attorney Dahlia Castillo will assist the immigrant VAWA victim with ulterior evidence to establish the abuser spouse’s status.

We can help you find your way out of domestic violence and towards legal permanent residence. Contact the Law Office of Dahlia Castillo today.