Submitting Evidence for Prince William County VAWA Petitions

Submitting evidence for Prince William County VAWA petitions requires a lot of research. An experienced VAWA lawyer can help you avoid unnecessary mistakes, as well as guide and advise you throughout the process. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact an attorney who focuses their practice on this area of the law.

Important Forms

When it comes to submitting evidence for Prince William County VAWA petitions, the most important form is the I-360, which is the VAWA petition. Other forms are going to depend on whether or not a person is married to a recipient of USCIS approval or married to a legal permanent resident.

If a person is married to a legal permanent resident, it will be standalone VAWA petition on the I-360 and they will be eligible to apply for adjustment status at the same time. If a person is eligible to apply for adjustments or is married to a U.S. citizen abuser, they will be eligible to apply for adjustment status at the same time. Once all the forms are in conjunction with that, then the green card application will be submitted simultaneously with the I-360.

Necessary Elements

One of the other important elements that a person needs to address in a VAWA application is the bona fide status of the marriage. In addition to proving that a person is the victim of abuse, they need to prove that the relationship was entered into in good faith.

That requirement is similar to what they need to submit an I-130 or a family-based application. A person needs to prove that the marriage was entered other than for immigration purposes, that there was good faith when they entered into the marriage, and that the person did not know it would end badly.

Gathering Evidence for Proof of Abuse

Proving the abuse is different in every case. If it is a case where there is serious physical abuse and a person called the police or has to seek medical attention as a direct result, the applicant will want to get all available hard evidence, including the police reports and the medical records. Those cases are more straightforward because there will be a lot of documentary evidence.

In many cases and more commonly, a person does not have that kind of evidence, because maybe they have been afraid to call the police or the abuse did not rise to a level requiring them to go to the hospital and seek medical treatment. It may have been psychological, emotional, or sexual abuse, so there are no photos or similar evidence a person can submit. In those cases, the person is going to want to discuss the situation with their attorney and try to create a document list to support their claim of abuse.

In some cases that will involve visiting a therapist and having an evaluation done about the effects the emotionally, psychologically or sexually abusive relationship has had on the person. In other cases, that might be obtaining letters from family members or friends who know about the abusive situation.

The most important thing, in any case, is going to be the personal statement of the applicant, which will detail all of the abusive conduct to which they have been subjected, even if that abuse is not included or discussed in the police reports and medical documents that they may have.

How an Attorney Can Shield an Applicant From Undue Stress

It is important to note that a person does not need to testify against their abuser. They do not even have to ever file the police report or go to any kind of judicial proceedings. That separates it from the U-Visa process. If a person is able to prove that the abuse occurred, they do not need to have any formal legal account of it occurring to qualify for VAWA. This is where an established and experienced lawyer will be especially useful: when it comes to gathering, compiling, and submitting evidence for Prince William County VAWA petitions, said attorney acts as a representative for the applicant throughout, protecting them from an unnecessary additional strain in what is already a fraught process.