VAWA Petitions in Los Angeles
Violence Against Women Act Petition
While there are many benefits to being the immigrant spouse of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse, there are also a number of disadvantages. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for non-citizens to become the victims of domestic violence or even involuntary servitude at the hands of their U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse whom they depend on. In many cases, immigrants are vulnerable because they may not have many family or friends here or understand American laws, and fear the repercussions of reaching out for help in an unfamiliar country.
Under the Violence against Woman Act (VAWA), immigrants have the right to self-petition for safety and independence from their abuser by filing for employment authorization, as well as permanent residence (aka green card). The VAWA was originally enacted in 1994 to protect women and children; however, it also applies to male victims. To learn about the legal protections provided by VAWA in a confidential consultation, please contact immigration lawyer Michael Piston at (213) 375-4084.
Who is Eligible to File for VAWA?
Immigrants are entitled to receive legal protection in the U.S., whether he or she is the spouse, parent, or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident. In order to qualify for legal protections under VAWA, the abused person must file Form I-360 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCSI), and provide proof of his or her relationship to the abuser, as well as evidence of the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
Requirements of VAWA
The VAWA application process requires eligible immigrants to provide a highly detailed declaration describing the history of the relationship with the abuser, as well as evidence of the abuse. To qualify, the application should include the following:
Proof of Bona Fide Marriage
A marriage certificate, birth certificates of children born into the marriage, wedding or vacation photographs, and joint property documents.
Proof of the Abuse
Medical records, police reports, photographs of injuries, and witness accounts.
Proof of Good Moral Character
The non-citizen must show evidence of having a good moral character, such as letters of reference, local police clearance letters, etc.
Making such a detailed declaration of the circumstances may be intimidating and even frightening, but it is important to understand that applying for relief is strictly confidential. For assistance throughout the filing process, do not hesitate to contact our immigration lawyers at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. We are proud to offer personalized, compassionate legal help to those who have been battered or otherwise victimized by their spouses.
Help Filing a VAWA Petition
The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. strongly supports the rights of all immigrants who have been battered or victimized by their spouses and wish to pursue legal residency in the U.S. It may be daunting to take action, but our attorneys are dedicated to assisting foreign citizens obtain permanent residency and citizenship in the U.S. We have guided many clients through the process of achieving legal freedom and will work tirelessly to defend your rights and protect you from further mistreatment. To discuss your circumstances in a confidential consultation, please call (213) 375-4084.