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Legal Information: Federal


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January 30, 2018

What happens after my lawyer files my self-petition?

When a self-petition is accepted, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sends a receipt to the address given on your petition (make sure that a safe address is used, such as your lawyer’s) stating the date when the application was received. While reviewing the application, the USCIS may request additional evidence from you. If the USCIS believes that you would meet all of the requirements if all of the information in your application were true, it will issue a “notice of prima facie case.” This notice is a letter that may allow you to qualify for certain public benefits (please consult with an attorney familiar with public benefits for immigrants to determine what public benefits you may be eligible for), but it is not a final approval notice. If the applicant establishes that s/he is eligible for self-petitioning under VAWA, the USCIS will grant the petition and issue an approval notice. All approved self-petitioners are eligible for work authorization.1

1USCIS website – Instructions for Form I-360; and National Immigrant Justice Center website – VAWA Self-Petition Flow Chart