Waiting for a VAWA Decision in Arlington

After someone applies for a Green Card under the VAWA and if no other information is needed, the waiting begins. The USCIS will issue a prima facie determination of the abuse and determine the applicant is eligible for certain benefits. This may take six months or more to occur. However, once the applicant is prima facie eligible, they may apply for work authorization.

In terms of how long the applicant will have to wait to get a decision on their application, the answer is that it depends on the current processing times. Anyone who wants to be aware of the processing times for any application pending before USCIS should go to uscis.gov and click on “Check Processing Time.” For example, today USCIS is adjudicating VAWA applications that have a receipt date of December 29, 2016, or before. The Vermont Service Center, where the VAWA petitions are decided, states that the approximate processing is 16 and a half months to 21 months for a VAWA petition.

The VAWA application takes a while to be approved. Typically, there is not a way to speed up the process. On a case-by-case basis, USCIS may expedite a request under very limited circumstances, but the applicant would have to submit a request for expedited processing. It is not likely that the USCIS would speed up the process for the VAWA applicant to obtain a decision faster.

Situations or scenarios in which these limited circumstances may orient faster application processing may be if a person has a family member who is about to die in their home country and they need to obtain permission to leave the country. However, it is likely the USCIS would issue a travel document faster than adjudicating the Form I-360.

Call an experienced lawyer today about waiting for a VAWA decision in Arlington.

What to Know About the VAWA Application Process

Some important things everyone thinking about beginning the VAWA application process should know is to take into account their criminal and immigration history before applying. They should also take into account if they have a qualifying relationship to a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen who is abusive and if they have lived with that abuser. Also, they should know that they have to obtain evidence of these facts, prove the applicant’s good moral character, and take into account any prior arrests or charges, and any prior immigration fraud or misrepresentations made to the government. If one is unable to show that they are a person of good moral character, it is likely that they will not be eligible for VAWA, will not be able to adjust their status, and will not to be able to submit a waiver. If the VAWA applicant does have any immigration violations or criminal history, they should reach out to an immigration attorney to see if they should apply.

When an Application is Approved

If the VAWA application is granted, the applicant receives deferred action and can apply for work authorization while they wait to file the Form I-485, which is the Green Card application. If the applicant was eligible to submit the Form I-360 and I-485 (the adjustment of status application) at the same time, they have presumably already filed for work authorization by submitting Form I-765 with their I-485.

What Happens if an Application is Not Granted?

If someone’s application is not granted, there is no requirement that the VAWA applicant has to leave the country. Just because there is a denial of the application does not mean that they would proceed to a removal order. Removal orders do not get issued with denials, but the VAWA applicant may decide to appeal the decision of the denial or resubmit their VAWA application.

Some of the reasons that a VAWA application might be rejected is not providing the USCIS with proof of the relationship between the applicant and the abuser, not providing the USCIS with proof of the abuser’s status, either as a US.. citizen or lawful permanent resident, not being able to provide adequate evidence that the applicant has been a victim of extreme cruelty or abuse, not showing that the applicant at one point in time cohabitated with the abuser, and not being able to provide proof of the applicant’s good moral character.

Call today to learn more about applying and waiting for a VAWA decision in Arlington.