Maryland VAWA Application Evidence

The evidence necessary for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) application is completely different depending on the circumstances of the case.  There are several different elements that require evidence in a VAWA application and a Maryland VAWA immigration lawyer can help.

Proving Citizenship

The first step is to prove the abuser’s citizenship or residency status. In order to do so, the applicant will need a copy of the abuser’s green card, passport, or naturalization certificate. In the event that an abused person does not have access to those documents, a social security number or alien number can be used.

VAWA Immigration lawyers have ways of being able to look that information up. Also, we  can request the USCIS to conduct a records check in an effort to independently determine the status of the individual by putting together the gathered information that we have accessed in the application and sending it to them. Generally, however, if the applicant has access to any of those documents, it’s important and helpful to submit those.

Proving Abuse

Secondly and typically the most difficult part of the case is to prove abuse. In some cases, it is very simple and straightforward because the abused may have a police report or hospital records that document the physical abuse.

In these cases, the lawyer and applicant  just submit those official documents along with a detailed statement from the abused person to prove the abuse.

Little to No Documents

In other cases, and this typically seems to be more common, are situations where we do not have those documents. Many times, the abused are in controlling situations and are afraid to call the police due to fear of the abuser or because of his or her immigration status. The abused may also fail to seek medical attention because of not being in a position to do so or does not understand how to seek the necessary care.

Often, we are relying on just the statements from the abused person. With such limited evidence, it is important to find a way to create evidence to document the abuse. Many times, the applicant can rely on information and letters from people who knew of the abuse. These people could include family members, friends, and co-workers.

Finding Evidence

If this evidence is not available, we need to rely very heavily on the declaration of the abused person and typically in this type of situation it is advisable for him or her to speak with a therapist to obtain a letter documenting the abuse from a professional standpoint. The abused can explain the kind of harm suffered to a therapist or other medical professionals and have those medical professionals provide letters as well. The types of evidence needed to prove the abuse really depend on the type of abuse that occurred.