The Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA") was passed in 1994. It allows abused immigrant spouses and children of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain a green card. Under VAWA, an abused immigrant spouse or child may self-petition for lawful permanent status by filing Form I-360 with USCIS, without having to rely on the abusive USC or LPR spouse or parent to file a petition.
Please note that even an abused spouse whose marriage to a USC or LPR ended within the past two years may still self-petition, provided that it can be established that it was a bona fide marriage and that there was a connection between of the termination of the marriage and the battering or extreme cruelty. Evidently, VAWA cases involve very sensitive matters.
If you or someone that you know has a VAWA matter, please do not hesitate to contact our Houston Immigration attorneys for an evaluation of your case.