Search articles:
Schedule an appointment

battered spouse VAWAQuestions and Answers: Battered Spouses, Children
and Parents Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Q. What if my Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, is denied?
A. If your petition is denied the denial letter will tell you how to file an appeal. You may file a Notice of Appeal along with the required fee at the Vermont Service Center within 33 days of receiving the denial. Once the fee is collected and the form is processed at the service center, the appeal will be referred to the Administrative Appeals Office in Washington, D.C.

Q. Can A Man File A Petition For Himself Under The Violence Against Women Act?
A. Yes, VAWA applies equally to victims of either sex.

Q. Do I Have to Remain Married to My Abusive Spouse Until my Form I-360 is Approved?
A. Effective October 28, 2000, you may file a Form I-360 if you are still married to your abusive spouse or, in certain circumstances, if you are not still married to your abusive spouse. If you are not still married to your abusive spouse when you file Form I-360, you must meet one of the following exceptions:


  •  You believed you were legally married to your abusive spouse but the marriage is not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of your abusive spouse.
  • Your abusive spouse died within 2 years of filing the petition.
  • Your abusive spouse lost or renounce his citizenship or lawful resident status due to an incident of domestic violence
  • Your marriage to your abusive spouse was terminated within the 2 years prior to filing of the petition, and there is a connection between the termination of the marriage and the battery or extreme cruelty. 

The actual grounds for the termination of the marriage do not need to explicitly cite battery or extreme cruelty. After your petition has been filed, legal termination of the marriage will not usually affect the status of your petition. Unfortunately, current USCIS regulations do not reflect these statutory changes and still state that you must be married at the time of filing. USCIS is obligated to follow the statute, and you are no longer required to be married to your abusive spouse at the time of filing. You may wish to seek advice from an immigration attorney or legal advocate regarding this provision.

Q. Can A Divorced Spouse Seek Relief By Filing A Form I-360?
A. Yes. Effective October 28, 2000, you may file a Form I-360 if the marriage was terminated within 2 years prior to the date of filing, if you can demonstrate a connection between the termination of the marriage and the battery or extreme cruelty. A battered spouse who cannot demonstrate such a connection may be eligible for battered spouse cancellation of removal. To qualify for battered spouse cancellation of removal, you must meet the other requirements that would be necessary for approval of a self-petition. In addition, you must have been physically present in the United States for 3 years immediately preceding the filing of the application for cancellation of removal, and you must demonstrate that your removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship to you or your child.

Your Form I-360 will be denied if you re-marry prior to the approval of the Form I-360. Remarriage after the Form I-360 has been approved will not affect the validity of the petition.

Q. What if My Abusive U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Spouse or Parent (or U.S. Citizen Son or Daughter) Filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on My Behalf, Which is Still Pending or Was Withdrawn?
A. If you are the beneficiary of a Form I-130 filed by the abusive spouse, parent or child, you will be able to transfer the priority date of the Form I-130 to the Form I-360. This is extremely important for you if since it may result in an earlier priority date and a shorter waiting time for getting a green card.

You should know that help is available to you through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 [TDD]. The hotline has information about shelters, mental health care, legal advice and other types of assistance, including information about self-petitioning for immigration status.

Articles related to this topic

  • NewYork and New Jersey Deportation and Removal Defense Lawyers

  • Videos related
    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..
    Click-to-Call us

    Use our automated
    Click-to-call to contact Apsan Law Offices, LLC. or
    call directly at
    1(877) 873-8510

    Click to call immigration lawyers

    nj immigration lawyers
    Sign up

    Immigration news
    President Obama is angry. Following a year of trying to convince Congress to pass an immigration reform law, President Obama vented his fury today in a scorching White House speech, saying it's ti...
    June 4, 2014 - É possível uma ordem executiva prestar socorro imediato a determinadas disposições das leis draconianas em vigor daimigração, mesmo enquanto se...
    June 4, 2014 - É possível uma ordem executiva prestar socorro imediato a determinadas disposições das leis draconianas em vigor daimigração, mesmo enquanto se...
    When an immigration case has run its’ course and the alien has not violated the terms of the bond, ICE cancels the immigration bond. Once this is done, ICE notifies the Debt Management Cente...
    June 6, 2014 - Washington D.C. On this day, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed the public of its’ new renewal system for the many thousands of youths who were gr...
    The multinational company, TelexFREE, recently shut down in Brazil is being investigated by the Secretary of the State  in Massachusetts, triggered by TelexFree’s filing for federal ban...
    This past Monday, Multinational company, TelexFree, filed for bankruptcy protection in a federal court in Nevada. The next day FBI and Homeland Security agents raided the company’s offi...
    The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), has made available an immigration courts’ 800 Phone Number, which allows anyone to obtain information about their case though its automate...
    While Congress languishes on agreement to comprehensive immigration reform, a pro-immigration movement is sweeping the individual states. According to NCSL report for 2013, 184 laws were enacted a...
      CALABASAS, Calif. It seems that the more famous you are, the greater the chance of screwing up. Such is the case of Justin Bieber, a Canadian citizen, who is facing felony charges for alle...
    Immigration reform has been the perennial Ping-Pong in Congressional politics. Democrats are constantly on the march for comprehensive immigration laws, while ((Republican fear the word comprehensive,...
    Thousands of intending immigrants apply for U.S. residency every year. As part of the process, each applicant must have their fingerprint taken and processed through many agencies, such as the FBI, In...
    Attaining equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community has been a pressing civil rights issue created by our malfunctioning immigration system. The problem is heightene...
    Source: After weeks of contentious debate all 52 Democrats, as well as 14 Conservatives and two independents were responsible for the passage of the Senate Bill S.744, a landmark imm...
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved the statutory maximum 10,000 petitions for U-1 nonimmigrant status (U visas) for fiscal year 2014. This marks th...