The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offers a path towards permanent residence for victims of domestic violence.
It is important to consult with an immigration attorney to determine your eligibility and to assist you with the complicated process of applying for VAWA immigration relief.
You may be eligible for immigration relief under VAWA if you have suffered battery or extreme cruelty at the hands of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse, former spouse, child or parent.
How you apply is dependent on whether the abusive family member is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
File Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant and documentation that demonstrates you suffered battery or extreme cruelty.
You will also need to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The timing of this filing will depend on whether your abusive family member is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
The process is complex, and we strongly urge consultants with an immigration attorney. Some allies nonetheless provide detailed instructions:
- Immigrant Legal Resources Center: Applying for Adjustment of Status through VAWA
- Women’s Law Center: Guidance for Applying for VAWA