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Legal Information: Federal

Immigration

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Updated: 
May 17, 2021

Can I work legally if I file a VAWA self-petition?

Filing the self-petition, by itself, will not allow you to work legally. Once US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves your VAWA self-petition, USCIS will also give you a legal work permit, which is known as an “Employment Authorization Document” or “EAD.”1

If the abuser is your US citizen spouse, child, or parent, you may be able to get a work permit faster than if the abuser is a legal permanent resident.2 You should discuss getting your work permit with your attorney because once your self-petition is approved, there may be additional papers that will need to be filed, depending on your situation.

1 8 USC § 1154(a)(1)(K); INA § 204(a)(1)(K)
2 8 CFR § 274a.12(c)(9)