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Green Card for Battered Spouse, Children & Parents

 

Our office has assisted many abused  spouses to obtain the legal residency using the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act).  You can apply for yhis benefit even if you under deportation and even if you entered the U.S. illegaly.

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. 

Who is Eligible to File as a Battered Spouse, Parent or Child

  • Spouse: You may file for yourself if you are, or were, the abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You may also include on your petition your unmarried children who are under 21 if they have not filed for themselves.
  • Child: You may file for yourself if you are an abused child under 21, unmarried and have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent. Your children may also be included on your petition. You may file for yourself as a child after age 21 but before age 25 if you can demonstrate that the abuse was the main reason for the delay in filing.

Eligibility Requirements for a Green Card as a Battered Spouse under VAWA

You are:

  • married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser or
     
  • your marriage to the abuser was terminated by death or a divorce (related to the abuse) within the 2 years prior to filing, or
  • 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
  • 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.

 

You:

  • have been abused in the United States by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, or
     
  • 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
  • you are the parent of a child who has been subjected to abuse by your U.S. citizen or permanent spouse.
  • entered into the marriage in good faith, not solely for immigration benefits.
  • You have resided with your spouse.
  •  You are a person of good moral character.

 

Eligibility Requirements for a Battered  Child under VAWA


You:

  • are the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser or
  • were the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident abuser who lost citizenship or lawful permanent resident status due to an incident of domestic violence.

-OR-

You:

  •  have been abused in the United States by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent or
  • 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.
  • You have resided with the abusive parent.
  • You have evidence to prove your relationship to your parent.
  • You must provide evidence of good moral character if you are over the age of 14.

Eligibility Requirements for a Battered Parent

  • You are the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter or were the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter who lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence or died within 2 years prior to filing.
  • You have been abused by your U.S. citizen son or daughter.
  • You have resided with the abusive son or daughter.
  • You are a person of good moral character.

Filing Process for Battered Spouse, Child or Parent

  • You must complete the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, including all supporting documentation.
  • You must file the form with the Vermont Service Center (VSC).
  • If you meet all filing requirements, you will receive a notice (Prima Facie Determination Notice) valid for 150 days that you can present to government agencies that provide certain public benefits to certain victims of domestic violence.
  • If your Form I-360 is approved and you do not have legal immigration status in the United States, we may place you in deferred action, which allows you to remain in the United States.

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.

Permanent Residence (Green Card) for Battered SPouse, Child or Parent)

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.


Articles related to this topic

  • How to Self-petition for the Green Card if you are an Abused Parents of U.S. Citizens
  • Questions and Answers: Battered Spouses, Children and Parents Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • Humanitarian Visas Available under U.S. Immigration Laws
  • Questions and Answers: Filing T, U, and VAWA Petitions with USCIS

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    Author
    Moses Apsan and his staff, based in New York City and Newark, NJ provide exceptional legal services throughout the world, in all aspects of immigration to the United States, including non-immigrant (temporary visas), immigrant visa (Green Card) and deportation defense. In addition Mr. Apsan, has been practicing Bankruptcy law and Divorce laws for over 30 years, He was the President of the Federal Bar Association, New Jersey Chapter (1997-2002). He speaks Portuguese and Spanish..
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