Maryland VAWA Application Rejection

When a person submits or applies for a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petition, they do not need to leave the county. Additionally, if the application is denied, it does not necessarily mean that the person has a removal order issued in their case. However, it is important for a person whose application has been denied to understand what that denial implies and what the circumstances of a second application are.

For this reason, it is very important for a person who has received a Maryland VAWA application rejection to contact a Maryland VAWA immigration lawyer to evaluate what steps they should take and if they have other options in their case.

What Happens Next

What happens in a person’s case if their application is not granted will depend on several factors.  For example, sometimes people have other options when applying for immigration benefits. They may be jointly eligible for something else, called a U-Visa, if they have filed a police report based on a domestic abuse, or there may be a number or other possibilities for them which they can discuss with an attorney.

Generally, the policy of the VAWA Service Center is not to refer the denied cases to the EOIR, which is the immigration court. Therefore, if a person has applied directly with USCIS and they are not removable for other reasons such as criminal issues, or they are not already in the removal proceedings, then a denial will simply mean that their application has been denied. It does not mean that the person is issued a removal or deportation order because only an immigration court can do that.

Reasons for Rejection

One common reason for a Maryland VAWA application rejection is not being able to prove the abuse, which typically happens in cases where there is no documentary evidence. An example could be lacking a sufficient amount of letters that support the abuse, therefore making the case difficult to prove. That is not to say, however, that it is not possible to prove such a case, but those could be reasons it may be rejected.

Another common reason for rejection is the lack of ability to prove cohabitation with the abuser. This is difficult in a lot of cases because, often, abused victims are living in the shadows and they simply do not have the documents to prove cohabitation.

Lack of good moral character of the applicant can be another reason for an application rejection. For example, if the applicant has a criminal record, that makes them inadmissible or that criminal record could lead to a finding of lack of good moral character and that can be a reason for denial as well.

Second Applications

A person can submit a second application, however, there is typically not a grace period. Additionally, if there has not been a material change in the circumstances surrounding a person’s case and they are going to submit the same body of evidence if they apply again, it is generally not advisable. This is because once there is a decision made, unless more abuse occurs or the person is in a better position to prove the evidence that was missing in the initial application, it will probably result in the same decision.

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