Prince William County VAWA Lawyer

The VAWA application is a type of benefit available to individuals who are in the United States and have been abused by a lawful permanent resident or by a U.S. citizen. It is called a self-petition, because it allows a person to petition for themselves as opposed to relying on their U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse to apply on their behalf.

It allows individuals in abusive relationships to pursue immigration status independent of their abuser. A Prince William County VAWA lawyer can work with you to help you understand the requirements for filing such an application, as well as build and present your case before the proper authorities. Contact an experienced attorney today for assistance.

VAWA Application

The VAWA application is filed on USCIS Form I-360, which is the simplest part of the application. It consists of completing the questions as instructed in the instructions. Anyone has access to it, as it is on the uscis.gov website.

The document is confidential. There are protections created by the VAWA legislation that provide confidentiality for individuals applying and the Vermont Service Center. It is a confidential application and the perpetrator will not be informed or aware of the application being filed.

There are also some other forms that must be completed and sent out with the VAWA application, most notably the application for adjustment status. The green card application will be submitted if and only if the alleged abuser is a U.S. citizen, which entitles the applicant to an immediate relative status, meaning that they will be immediately eligible for a green card upon the approval of their I-360.

If a person is married to U.S. citizen, they can file the adjustment of status application with the VAWA petition. They can also file a work authorization application, which will allow them to work while the VAWA application is pending. An experienced Prince William VAWA attorney can assist in providing more information on what is necessary and walking individuals through the application process.

Effect Of Married Status

If someone is married to a U.S. citizen, they will be eligible for a green card immediately upon the approval of the VAWA application. In that case, a person should submit the entire VAWA application package, including the I-360 and the I-485, which is the adjustment status application, as well as their work authorization in one package.

Access To Application

No one can access the submitted application except for the Vermont Service Center and other government agencies where a person submitted it. In other words, the abuser cannot have the access to the application once it is filed.

Typically, other government agencies, such as ICE, also do not have access to such file once they have filed it. It was practice of the Vermont Service Center not to refer cases to ICE or to immigration court if they were denied and the individual had other grounds of removability, like a criminal background or other immigration violations.

Things are changing and that is an absolute protection or guarantees, so it is important to consult with a Prince William County VAWA lawyer if a person has other grounds of removability before submitting an application. This is because the government will know to access a person’s information and pursue removal against a person if his or her application was denied.

How a Prince William VAWA Attorney Can Help

There are a number of forms and various steps involved in the process. Given the sensitive nature of the circumstances which lead one to file a VAWA application in the first place, a Prince William County VAWA lawyer can be an invaluable guide and advisor each step of the way.