Self-Petition for Abused Spouses

As a battered spouse, child or parent, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA allows certain spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) to file a petition for themselves without the abuser’s knowledge or participation in the process. The USCIS will not notify your abuser that you are seeking immigration benefits. This will allow you to seek both safety and
independence from the abuser. Most people think of domestic violence victims as women. That is not necessarily so. The provisions of VAWA apply equally to women and men. In fact, in my practice, I have done more petitions for abused men than abused women.

You may file for yourself if you are, or were, the abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You may also include in your petition your unmarried children who are under 21 if they have not filed for themselves.

You may file for yourself if you are the parent of a child who has been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse. You may include on your petition your children, including those who have not been abused, if they have not filed for themselves. You may also file if you are the parent of a U.S. citizen, and you have been abused by your U.S. citizen son or daughter.

You may file for yourself if you are an abused child under 21, unmarried and have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent. Your children may also be included on your petition. You may file for yourself as a child after age 21 but before age 25 if you can demonstrate that the abuse was the main reason for the delay in filing.

An experienced immigration attorney is your best bet in this process, and we will guide you and elicit the relevant facts from you to determine if you qualify for this benefit. For more information on battered spouse, children and parents, call us now at (786) 536-4567 or (863) 675-6752.