Common Facts about the VAWA Application Process in Fairfax

When preparing to file a VAWA application, there a couple of facts applicants should keep in mind. For example, petitioners and beneficiaries should be well aware of deadlines for submitting an application. They should also bear in mind that the processing time for a VAWA application may be well over a year. To learn more about these common VAWA application facts, consult with a Fairfax attorney today.

Processing Time for a VAWA Application

The current processing time for a VAWA application is between 17.5 months and 22 months. As of now, the USCIS is processing applications that were received on or before July 4, 2017. However, these processing times are subject to change. For up to date USCIS processing times for any application, it is recommended that both petitioners and beneficiaries refer to the processing times page at

Expediting the Processing Time

It is rare that the USCIS expedites the application process for someone. USCIS would only take into consideration VAWA applications that have exigent circumstances as to why it should be expedited. There is no list of reasons as to what will constitute an exigent circumstance, but the reason must be compelling for USCIS to make note that it must be adjudicated sooner. If someone thinks that they have an exigent circumstance, they should reach out to an attorney to try to see if they are able to submit a request to expedite.

Common Misconceptions about the VAWA Application

One of the most common misconceptions about the VAWA application includes the belief that VAWA is only available to women. Although VAWA stands for the Violence Against Women Act, both men and women can apply for protection under VAWA.

Another common misconception is that VAWA, like a U visa, requires that the applicant report the abuse to the police and file a report. However, that is not the case. There is no requirement that a police report be filed. There is also the mistaken belief that the abuse suffered by the applicant must be physical. That is not the case either. The abuse can be psychological or emotional and can include extreme cruelty where the abuser uses the VAWA applicant’s immigration status against them.

Important Things to Know Before Filing a VAWA Application

Anyone beginning a VAWA application should gather the evidence necessary to submit the application. This evidence includes proof of the relationship to the abuser, proof that the applicant has cohabitated with the abuser, and any evidence or documentation regarding the abuse.

Another important thing that anyone thinking about beginning a VAWA application should know is whether they are eligible to apply for adjustment to become a lawful permanent resident by submitting the VAWA application or if they face any bars to adjust their immigration status. If the applicant has any criminal or immigration issues, they should reach out to an attorney before submitting an adjustment of status application with a VAWA petition.

Reasons Why an Application Might be Rejected

Some reasons warranting a rejection include failing to prove the relationship between the applicant and the abuser, not submitting evidence of good moral character, failing to demonstrate that the applicant lived with the abuser, as well as failing to show that any abuse occurred.

If the VAWA application is denied, that does not mean that the VAWA applicant must leave the United States. A denial of VAWA benefits is not a removal order. A VAWA applicant can always apply for VAWA again or appeal the decision.

Obtain Legal Assistance Today

The VAWA application process could be difficult to undergo on your own. Not only are there multiple deadlines that must be met, but there are also various documents and evidence that may be needed at the time of submission. To learn more about the VAWA application process, be sure to reach out to a Fairfax attorney today.

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