Virginia VAWA Assessment

If a person is preparing to prepare for VAWA immigration in Virginia, they should contact a Virginia VAWA immigration lawyer to ensure they have a firm understanding of the application process and that they are taking the appropriate steps in their case.

Application Evaluation

If USCIS has all of the information that they need to adjudicate the claim, they will evaluate a person’s case to determine whether they believe that the abuse is sufficient to qualify and that the person has met the all other evidentiary requirements. At that point, USCIS will issue a decision on a person’s case.

Right now, the wait is more than a year to adjudicate a case, but the timeframes change often. A person can check on the USCIS website to see current adjudication time at the point that they submit their application. It is important to note that there is not an option to get a quicker decision from USCIS when submitting a VAWA application.

If It Is Granted

If the application is granted, the person’s status will change; the new status is dependent on whether their abuser was US citizen or a lawful permanent resident. If their abuser was a US citizen and they filed their adjustment application concurrently with the VAWA application, they will be granted their green card so they will be a legal permanent resident. They can eventually apply for citizenship or live the rest of thier life in the US with the green card.

If a person is married to a lawful permanent resident, they will have to look at the priority date of their approval of the I-360 and cross reference that with the dates posted on the National Visa Center. Once the priority date for their category, spouse of a lawful permanent resident, becomes current they will be eligible to submit their application for adjustment of status. At that point, they will be put in green card status. Currently, the wait time to for the status change is a couple of years .

During the time that they are waiting to apply for their green card, they will be in deferred action status, meaning that the government is aware that they are in the country, acknowledges their presence, and is deferring action on their removal. They are allowed to apply for a work authorization, but travel can be difficult. Since it is not a permanent status, it also needs to be renewed.

It would be best for a person to apply for their green card as soon as they are eligible.

If It Is Not Granted

If the application is not granted, the Vermont Service Center’s policy is not to refer the denied cases to ICE or to the office of chief counsel so, generally, the person will not be referred for removal proceedings. That does occur in other types of immigration cases. In most cases, if a person’s application is denied, their loss is solely in the time allocated to filing a complete application.

If a person has a criminal record that includes aggravated felonies or other serious offenses that put the community at risk, it would be legally possible for the VAWA unit to refer the case to the Department of Homeland Security to place the person into removal proceedings; however, that is uncommon.

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