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Legal Information: Federal


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January 30, 2018

What is a battered spouse or child waiver? How does it work?

You may be able to apply for a “battered spouse or child waiver” if you have conditional legal permanent residence as a spouse (and in certain circumstances, as a child) of a USC or LPR, and the USC or LPR has abused you.1  Normally, when you have conditional permanent residence, you have to file a joint petition with your USC or LPR spouse to remove the “condition” during the 90 days immediately before the two-year anniversary of the date you got conditional resident status.2  However, if you meet the requirements for the battered spouse or child waiver as either the abused spouse or child (with conditional permanent residence) of a USC/LPR, you may ask that the condition be removed without the assistance of the abuser.1

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 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.

1 INA § 216(c)(4)(C)
2 INA § 216(c)(1)(A); INA § 216(d)(2)