Montgomery County VAWA Lawyer

Those who have been subjected to abuse or violence by a loved one or family member could take advantage of the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to escape their abuser. A MoCo VAWA lawyer could assist survivors of abuse privately appeal to become a lawful resident of the United States. A compassionate and driven immigration attorney could explain your rights and champion your case.

Steps to Complete the VAWA Application

The form for the VAWA application is Form I-360. An applicant must fill out the information requested by USCIS on the Form I-360. They must show that they were/are in a qualifying relationship with a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident and that U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident was/is their abuser. There are different ways a person could show the relationship. Individuals could show a marriage certificate for spouses or show a birth certificate for parents or children.

If the spouse was or is the abuser, the application requires showing that:

  • The marriage was entered into in good faith
  • The VAWA applicant lived or lives with the abuser
  • They were either a victim of abuse, such as being a battered applicant or were subject to extreme cruelty on behalf of that abuser
  • They are a person of good moral character

Individuals are recommended to contact a Montgomery County attorney to learn how they could apply for citizenship through VAWA.

How Confidential is the VAWA application?

The application is confidential and is not shared with anyone. The only people that will view it will be the applicant, their attorney if they are represented by counsel, and the USCIS. There is a portion on the Form I-360 that allows the applicant to put a safe mailing address. If the USCIS had any mail to send to the applicant with regard to that application, it may be sent to their safe mailing address. If the VAWA applicant is represented, the VAWA applicant could use the attorney’s office as a safe mailing address.

The submitted VAWA application form could be accessed by:

  • The USCIS officers, those from the VAWA unit
  • Any USCIS officers adjudicating the VAWA application at a local office
  • USCIS officers adjudicating the I-485 application when it is time for the VAWA applicant to adjust status

A VAWA attorney in MoCo

could answer a person’s questions regarding the application process.

Additional Forms an Applicant Must Complete

There are other forms that could be completed and sent with the VAWA application. In conjunction with the Form I-360 and the supporting documentation, the VAWA applicant could apply for the Form I-485. This application is for becoming a lawful permanent resident. The VAWA applicant could submit the Form I-765 with the I-360 and I-485 if:

  • The VAWA applicant was married to a U.S. citizen
  • A visa is available to them according to the visa bulletin
  • The abuser is a family member who is a lawful permanent resident

The Form 1-765 is an application for employment authorization while the Form I-131 is the application for a travel document. A knowledgeable attorney could help a person complete all the necessary steps for an application.

Impact of Marrying a U.S. Citizen on a VAWA application

If someone is married to an abuser who is a U.S. citizen, the VAWA applicant can submit the I-360 and the I-485 forms, which are the applications to become a lawful permanent resident, at the same time. If their I-360 is approved and their I-485 is approved, they become a lawful permanent resident.

An abusive relationship could be escaped. Those who are subject to another person’s ill treatment could find help aid in the form of a Montgomery County VAWA lawyer, who could help individuals through the citizenship application process. A lawyer could help applicants collect the necessary paperwork and jump through any legal hoops. Call today to learn your immigration rights and options.

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