Know the Laws:
UPDATED April 20, 2013
Immigration laws can be extremely complicated. Here we provide some basic information about immigration benefits available to victims of domestic violence. WomensLaw.org strongly recommends that you consult with an immigration lawyer with experience in VAWA before applying for any type of immigration status to see if you qualify for these or other forms of immigration relief. You may contact us through our Email Hotline if you would like referrals to organizations with experience in VAWA in your state. For national organizations with experience in general immigration law, please see our Immigration/ International page. You can also find legal referrals on our Finding a Lawyer page.
If you are in removal proceedings (formerly known as deportation proceedings) before an immigration judge, and you are abused by your USC or LPR spouse or parent (or you have a child with the USC or LPR who is abused by him/her), it might be possible to apply for “VAWA cancellation of removal.”* If an application for cancellation of removal is granted, the removal process can be ended and you can receive legal permanent residence.** Because to be eligible to apply for VAWA cancellation of removal you have to be in removal proceedings, it is extremely important that you have an immigration attorney with experience in VAWA to advise you and represent you. To determine if you qualify for VAWA cancellation of removal or another form of immigration relief, you should consult with an immigration lawyer with experience in VAWA.
To determine if you qualify for a VAWA self-petition or another form of immigration relief, you should consult an immigration lawyer with experience in VAWA. Our Immigration/ International page lists national organizations working in the area of immigration law and our Finding a Lawyer page includes the contact information of legal organizations and lawyer referral services by state.
* INA § 240A(b)(2), 8 CFR § 1240.11(a)(1)
** INA § 240A(b)(2)(A)
You may be eligible to apply for cancellation of removal if you fall under one of the following categories and meet all other requirements for cancellation of removal:
If your application for cancellation of removal is granted, the removal process can be ended and you can receive legal permanent residence.*
* INA § 240A(b)(2)(A)