Eligibility Requirements for Battered Spouses’ Children in Prince William County 

There are strict eligibility requirements for battered spouses and their children in Prince William County cancellation of removal cases. While a spouse’s child may have a strong claim for cancellation of removal, an attorney can reach out to the prosecutor or ICE official prior to the hearing on behalf of their client. Since a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cancellation is separate from ordinary LPR or non-LPR cancellations, it can be a long and confusing process without proper legal counsel and representation.

If a battered spouse or their child is qualified to apply for cancellation of removal, they will need a strong legal team. A cancellation of removal attorney has resources to help your family during this process. An immigration attorney can help you present evidence for abuse to establish that you fulfill the eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

After the person shows they have been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by that person’s qualifying relative, they need to show they were physically present in the US for three years or more. The stop time rule is the same as it is for LPR and non-LPR cancellation, and the time ceases to accrue when the notice to appear is issued.

A person has to prove good moral character during that three-year period. An individual needs to show their removal would cause extreme hardship to a qualifying relative who has to be present in the United States. They also have to prove they are not otherwise inadmissible if a person does not have a criminal background that involves a crime of moral turpitude or aggravated felonies.

VAWA Application Considerations

Battered spouses or their children have the option to apply for cancellation of removal. In some cases, they have a different form of cancellation available to them aside from LPR or non-LPR cancellation. This is called VAWA cancellation, or cancellation under the VAWA. This Act was first issued in 1994 and contains a number of provisions that protect immigrant victims of domestic abuse. There is an affirmative form of VAWA that can be filed if a person is not in normal proceedings and then a defensive form of VAWA that is referred to as a VAWA cancellation that can be filed once a person is placed in immigration proceedings.

The requirements for VAWA cancellations are completely separate from ordinary LPR or non-LPR cancellations. A person needs to prove they have been battered or suffered extreme cruelty by their spouse, and that the spouse is a United States citizen or legal permanent resident. Alternatively, a person needs to prove they have been battered or suffered extreme cruelty by a parent who is a US citizen or a legal permanent resident. Proof of abuse is required in order to fulfill eligibility requirements for battered spouse’s child. In other cases, an individual can prove that their child, even if the child is already a United States citizen, has been abused by their spouse who is a US Citizen or legal permanent resident. Finally, in some cases, a person can qualify for VAWA if they were abused while not legally married but if they believe that nonetheless, the relationship constituted a legitimate marriage.

Preparing for Trial

It is important to be very, very well prepared before a person goes to trial and to practice with the attorney. Individuals should do a mock testimony and cross-examination before going to trial. It is also very important to provide as much hard evidence as much as possible and to support the case. In cases where there are no police reports or medical documents, a person wants to talk to a therapist who can evaluate that individual to assess the harm and the suffering they have been through as the result of the abuse. Without evidence, the person cannot fulfill eligibility requirements for battered spouse’s child. That person also needs to also submit corroborating evidence in the form of affidavits from people who know them or were familiar with the abuse.

Similar to the non-LPR cancellation case, a person needs to make sure that even though proving the abuse may be the most difficult-to-establish criteria, they do not want to ignore the seemingly easier requirements such as physical presence and good character.

Benefits of an Immigration Attorney

The most important thing an immigration attorney can do in these cases is to help a client prepare for their own testimony in an immigration court setting. First, these situations are often very traumatic and difficult to discuss. It is very common to have issues like PTSD or memory lapse and blocking events from memory because they are too painful to deal with. Often, the victim’s own memory of the abuse will be hazy.

That is something an individual really needs to acknowledge in court. If the person thinks they will have problems providing the testimony accurately and consistently in front of the immigration court, they need to do a very thorough preparation job with their attorney and in some cases provide letters from therapists or medical professionals. These letters can attest that abuse can damage memory or traumatic situations and about PTSD. A person’s attorney can help a person prepare by practicing their testimony, provide that person with other resources like therapists, and prepare their case as a whole for trial.

Your attorney can provide legal advice and consider the best options for your case. Having an attorney can be beneficial because they can help you prepare for the trial. It is important to discuss your case with a dedicated immigration attorney if your spouse’s child is qualified for cancellation of removal.