VAWA Based Green Cards

A foreign national who is a victim of domestic or dating violence, sexual violence or stalking may qualify for a self-petition and a Lawful Permanent Resident Status (green card) under the Violence against Women Act (VAWA).

VAWA legislation allows spouses and children of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), who are not citizens, to self-petition to obtain a green card without the assistance of their abuser. The protection applies to both men and women. You may qualify to self-petition if you are a victim of abuse in one of the following situations:
  • You have been abused by your U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse 
  • You are the spouse of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident and he/she has abused your child 
  • You have been abused by a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parent 
  • You have been abused by your adult U.S. Citizen child (Please note that parent of a Lawful Permanent Resident does not qualify for self-petition in this category.)
Self-Petition as a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

If you are self-petitioning as a spouse of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident you must demonstrate one of the following:
  • You are currently married to a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Your U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse died within the past two years
  • You were divorced from your U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse within two years and you must show a nexus between the divorce and the abuse
Additionally, you must provide the following evidence along with your battered spouse petition:
  • You entered into the marriage in good faith,
  • You lived with your a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse,
  • You have been battered or were subject to extreme cruelty during the marriage 
  • You have a good moral character
Self-Petition as a Child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

If you are self-petitioning as a child abused by a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parent, you must provide the following evidence along with your battered child petition:
  • You are unmarried and under 21 years old
  • You lived with your a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parent
  • You have been battered or were subject to extreme cruelty in the United States 
  • You have a good moral character
Self-Petition as a Parent of a U.S. Citizen

If you are self-petitioning as a parent of an adult U.S. Citizen child, you must provide the following evidence along with your battered parent petition:
  • You are a parent of U.S. Citizen child who is over 21 years old
  • You lived with your abusive U.S. Citizen child
  • You have been battered or were subject to extreme cruelty in the United States
  • You have a good moral character
Please note that parent of a Lawful Permanent Resident does not qualify for self-petition in this category.

Lawful Permanent Residency (Green Card)

Upon the approval of their self-petition, the foreign national will qualify for permanent resident status in the United States through adjustment of status process. You can apply for a green card either simultaneously when submitting the self-petition if you’re petition is based on battered spouse of a U.S. Citizen, unmarried child under 21 years old of a U.S. Citizen, and parent of an adult U.S. Citizen child. However, if your self-petition is based on battered spouse and children of a Legal Permanent Resident you may need to wait to apply for adjustment of status depending upon your family preference category. For more information please see the family based Green Card page.

At The Ahluwalia Firm, our emphasis is on:
  • Providing zealous representation before the USCIS
  • Providing careful review of your personal circumstances
  • Providing careful coordination of all correspondence with the government agencies
  • Ensuring a service-delivery model that meets and exceeds your satisfaction
We have successfully represented many foreign nationals in obtaining green cards based on self petition under “VAWA”. If you are one of those individuals who have been victim of domestic or sexual violence, please contact us to determine if you qualify for a VAWA self-petition.