VAWA Application Process in Leesburg

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protects victims of domestic violence and abuse by allowing them to petition for a Green Card. Although this measure is aimed to assist non-citizens with obtaining legal status, not many people are aware of the process to petition under VAWA. Fortunately, an experienced immigration attorney could help those in need with the VAWA application process in Leesburg. If you require such assistance, be sure to reach out and schedule a consultation today.

What is the Process for Submitting a VAWA Application?

When petitioning for a Green Card under VAWA, an applicant would need to complete Form I-360. An applicant would be required to submit their biographic information along with evidence indicating that they are or were in a qualifying relationship (spouse, parent or child) with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. It must also be shown that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident if the abuse, that the applicant lived with the abuser, and that an applicant is a person of good moral character.

To prove that the abuse is a U.S. citizen, an applicant could submit either a birth certificate showing that their abuser was born in the U.S. or a naturalization certificate showing that the abuser was naturalized as a U.S. citizen. To prove a qualifying relationship, an applicant can submit birth certificates proving the relationship. If the abuse if the spouse of the VAWA applicant, a marriage certificate must be submitted along with evidence showing that the marriage was entered in good faith.

Then, the applicant must show that they resided with or is residing with the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and that the VAWA applicant was either battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by the abuser. Lastly, the VAWA applicant submits police clearances to demonstrate good moral character. Speaking to an attorney about an immigration issue is always advised.  Even if the VAWA applicant elects to submit on their own, a consultation with an attorney can be beneficial in avoiding the common pitfalls that lead to denials.

Confidentiality Concerns

Form I-360 is confidential and any information in regard to the application submitted is not shared with anyone except the VAWA applicant and the VAWA applicant’s attorney. Also, Form I-360 has a section in which the VAWA applicant can give a safe address where they want any mail that would be sent by USCIS to make sure that it arrives safely. Oftentimes, claimants could use an attorney’s office as a safe address.

Other Forms Needed to be Complete for VAWA

There are other forms that must be completed and sent out with a VAWA application if the applicant wants to apply for a Green Card. If the VAWA applicant is eligible to adjust, they can submit Form I-485, which is the application to become a lawful permanent resident or to adjust status. With the I-485, the VAWA applicant can also file Form I-765, which is the application for employment authorization, and the Form I-131, which is the application to request a travel document.

Get Help with Completing the VAWA Application Process

Petitioning for a Green Card under VAWA could be a long and difficult process without an attorney at your side pointing you in the right direction. A lawyer could inform you of the necessary documentation for obtaining legal status under VAWA as well as reviewing your application for mistakes to ensure that the process is completed in an efficient manner. For more information, schedule a consultation today.