Legal Information: Federal


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What are the basic provisions of VAWA?

1. Self-petitioning through VAWA. You may be eligible to file an immigrant visa petition (self-petition) for lawful permanent residency for yourself and your children if the batterer is a US citizen or legal permanent resident (LPR) and you are either: 1) the battered spouse; 2) the child/step-child who was battered OR witnessed spousal abuse of your parent/ step-parent; or 3) you are a parent who is battered by your adult child.

“Self-petition” means you can ask for it by yourself, without your spouse’s help, but you do need a lawyer to help you.

Please read the more detailed information VAWA Laws and Procedures.

2. Cancellation of removal through VAWA. If you are married to an abusive US citizen or to a lawful permanent resident and have been in the US for at least three years, you can ask for your deportation to be suspended and for lawful permanent residency, without the help of the abuser.

This is called the “Special rule suspension of deportation and cancellation of removal” and it is also a provision of VAWA. This is available for abused spouses and children of US citizens and lawful permanent residents after three years’ presence in US. This is available to you only if you are in, or can be placed into, deportation proceedings.

If you are at risk of being deported, please talk to an immigration expert about this option.

3. Battered Spouse or Child Waiver. If you are married to an abusive US citizen or to an abusive lawful permanent resident, the condition on your 2 year conditional permanent legal status can be removed.

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