Important Alexandria VAWA Application Considerations

Under VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act, individuals who are being abused by a partner or family member that is a long-term resident or citizen, can apply for lawful permanent residency, independent of that abusive partner or family member. The VAWA application process can be difficult to navigate alone, which is why it is helpful to work with an experienced immigration attorney. If you want to know more about important Alexandria VAWA application considerations, speak with a lawyer that could answer your questions.

How a Person’s Background Can Impact Their Application

Before applying for VAWA one of the important Alexandria VAWA application considerations to keep in mind is the applicant’s immigration and criminal history. While one may have a qualifying relationship with the U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has been abusive, has cohabitated with this person, and has evidence of good moral character with respect to arrests, due to past immigration fraud or misrepresentations, the VAWA applicant will be ineligible to adjust and ineligible to receive a waiver. The VAWA applicant may want to think twice before submitting an adjustment application.

What Happens if the Application is Granted?

If only the I-360 is granted, the VAWA applicant may receive deferred action and apply for work authorization while they wait to apply for the Green Card with Form I-485. If the person is eligible to apply for the I-485 adjustment application, they wait for that application to be adjudicated.

Employment Under VAWA

When a VAWA applicant receives the work authorization, they are eligible to work legally in the United States. The applicant must also go to the local social security office with their work authorization card to obtain a social security number to report taxes.

However, one of the important Alexandria VAWA application considerations a person must remember is that there are certain jobs that are only available to U.S. citizens. A VAWA applicant will be precluded from obtaining those positions. However, an individual with work authorization is permitted to work at any job that does not require U.S. citizenship so long as the VAWA recipient meets the required qualifications.

How Long Does it Take to Get an Application Processed?

USCIS processing times vary. Currently, USCIS is adjudicating petitions filed on or before August 22, 2016. An individual can request expedited processing only under very limited circumstances. An individual needs to describe what the need for expediting the processing of the application is, such as an ill family member dying in their home country and the need for the applicant to obtain permission to leave the country. That would speed up adjudication. USCIS is not going to make any special accommodations merely because the person wants it adjudicated quickly.

Misconceptions About VAWA Applications in Alexandria

One of the most common misconceptions about the VAWA application is that the relief it is only available to women. The other misconception is that an abused person needs to have been seriously physically abused to qualify. However, there are many kinds of abuse and extreme cruelty that allow one to apply for VAWA status.

Sexual, emotional, psychological, financial, and verbal abuse fall within the eligibility criteria for a VAWA application. There is also the misconception that one has to have filed a police report to be eligible for VAWA benefits and that is not the case. The applicant just has to demonstrate to USCIS that abuse has occurred. Another misconception is that USCIS will contact the abuser. USCIS would not want to place the petitioner in danger and does not contact the abuser about the submission of the application. If an individual wants to know more about important Alexandria VAWA application considerations, they should consult an accomplished immigration lawyer that could answer their questions.

Alexandria VAWA Applications