In 1994, the United States established the Violence Against Women Act. This act provides a special avenue for obtaining immigration status in the United States for spouses, children, and parents of an abusive United States citizen or permanent resident. With this unique visa application comes a unique set of circumstances that must be proven as true. Read on to discover what you need to prove to obtain a visa through VAWA and how a seasoned Lyndhurst adjustment of status attorney at The Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta can help keep you out of harm’s way.
What circumstances do I need to prove as true for a visa through VAWA?
First of all, you may apply for a visa through VAWA via Form I-360, Self-Petition (VAWA Petition). With this self-petition, you must prove that you have one of the following relationships with the abuser:
- You are the spouse of the abuser.
- You are the parent of the abuser.
- You are the unmarried child, who is under the age of 21, of the abuser.
- You are the parent of an unmarried child, who is under the age of 21, of the abuser.
Then, you must supplement your self-petition with evidence that you have been subject to “extreme cruelty” by the abuser. The different types of extreme cruelty that may be applicable are as follows:
- You have been physically abused by the abuser.
- You have been subject to violent acts or threats of violence by the abuser.
- You have been subject to isolation or intimidation by the abuser.
- You have been verbally abused by the abuser.
- You have been emotionally abused by the abuser.
- You have been economically abused by the abuser.
- You have been threatened with your children being taken away by the abuser.
- You have been threatened with deportation by the abuser.
Importantly, the aforementioned types of extreme cruelty must have been inflicted on you during your stay in the United States with the abuser. To reiterate, you must confirm within your application that the abuser in question is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.
What specific proof do I need as a self-petitioning spouse?
If you are self-petitioning as the spouse of the abuser, then you may have to supply your application with additional proof. The extra requirements are as follows:
- You entered into your marriage with the abuser in “good faith.”
- You were made a victim of extreme cruelty by the abuser once your marriage commenced.
- Your marriage with the abuser is still valid in the United States, or it has been lawfully terminated no more than two years ago.
You must take your visa application seriously. So pick up the phone and call our Lyndhurst family and individual immigration law firm. A competent attorney will be happy to answer.