As a battered spouse, child or parent, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA allows certain spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) to file a petition for themselves without the abusers’ knowledge. This will allow you to seek both safety and independence from the abuser. The provisions of VAWA apply equally to women and men. Your abuser will not be notified that you have filed for immigration benefits under VAWA.
Help is also available for battered spouse, child or parents from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD). The hotline has information about shelters, mental heath care, legal advice and other types of assistance, including information about filing for immigration status.
o married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser or
o your marriage to the abuser was terminated by death or a divorce (related to the abuse) within the 2 years prior to filing, or
o your spouse lost or renounced citizenship or permanent resident status within the 2 years prior to filing due to an incident of domestic violence, or
o you believed that you were legally married to your abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse but the marriage was not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse.
o have been abused in the United States by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, or
o have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse abroad while your spouse was employed by the U.S. government or a member of the U.S. uniformed services, or
o you are the parent of a child who has been subjected to abuse by your U.S. citizen or permanent spouse.
o have been abused in the United States by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent or
o have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent abroad while your parent was employed by the U.S. government or a member of the U.S. uniformed services.
o You have resided with the abusive parent.
o You have evidence to prove your relationship to your parent.
o You must provide evidence of good moral character if you are over the age of 14.
Working in the United States
If you have an approved Form I-360 and have been placed in deferred action, you are eligible to apply to work in the United States. To apply to work in the United States, you must file the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with the Vermont Service Center.
Your children listed on your approved Form I-360, may also apply for work authorization. For more information on working in the United States, see the “Working in the U.S.” link to the right.
If you have an approved Form I-360, you may be eligible to file for a green card. Your children listed on your approved Form I-360 may also be eligible to apply for a green card.