Legal Information: Federal

Immigration

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Updated: 
January 30, 2018

Who is eligible to self-petition?

Immigration law allows the following relatives of abusive US citizens (USC) and legal permanent residents (LPR) to self-petition for lawful status in the US (if they meet all other self-petitioning requirements under VAWA):

  • Abused spouses of a USC or LPR, and the abused spouse’s children if they are under 21 years old and unmarried (the children would be included in the spouse's application as "derivatives");1
  • Non-abused spouses of a USC or LPR if the USC or LPR spouse has abused your unmarried and under 21 child. The non-abused spouse’s children who are under 21 years old and unmarried may also be eligible (the children would be included in the spouse's application as derivatives);1
  • Abused children (under 21 years old and unmarried) of a USC or LPR, and their children (under 21 years old and unmarried) as derivatives.2  Note: It may be possible for an abused child between the ages of 21 and 25 to self-petition if s/he can show s/he qualified when she was under 21 and the abuse was at least one central reason for the delay in filing.3
  • Abused parents of a USC (not LPR) son or daughter (son/daughter must be over 21 years old).4
  • Note: In the following questions, you will find information about additional requirements for each of the above categories. It is important that you read these to fully understand what you may have to prove to qualify.

1 INA § 204(a)(1)(A)(iii), INA § 204 (a)(1)(B)(ii)
2 INA § 204(a)(1)(A)(iv), INA § 204(a)(1)(B)(iii)
3 INA § 204(a)(1)(D)(v)
4 INA § 204(a)(1)(A)(vii)