Nick Misiti Explains VAWA
The Violence Against Women Act protects battered and abused immigrants from their abusers. Immigrant victims of child abuse, domestic violence, or elder abuse can “self-petition” for lawful permanent resident status without the cooperation of the abuser. Upon approval, the petitioner receives work authorization and the ability to apply for lawful permanent residency.
To be eligible to apply for status under VAWA, a person must be a spouses, former spouse, child, or parent of abusive U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. If divorced, an immigrant can still self-petition if the termination of the marriage was a result of the alleged abuse. In this case, the application must be filed within two years of the divorce. Children of an abusive U.S. citizen or resident must file before the age of 25. Additionally, immigrant spouses may file under VAWA if their children have been abused by the child’s other U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent regardless of whether the spouse themselves were also abused.
In addition to proving the abuse, a VAWA petitioner must also establish the relationship between themselves and the abuser, the immigration status of the citizen or LPR spouse, parent, or child, good moral character, residence with the abuser, that the marriage was entered into in good faith if the abuser is a spouse or step-parent or parent-child relationship if the applicant is a non-abusive immigrant parent whose U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse is the abuser.
When an immigrant is eligible for relief under VAWA but is in removal proceedings, they can petition the court for VAWA cancellation of removal. This form of relief is designed to protect victims of abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents from deportation. In order to be granted VAWA cancellation of removal, the abused immigrant must show that: (1) they were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent; (2) they were physically present in the United States for 3 years; (3) they possess good moral character; (4) removal would cause extreme hardship; and (5) other grounds of inadmissibility do not apply or the qualification for a waiver.
If you are an immigrant who is the victim of abuse by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident please contact Attorney Nicklaus Misiti at (212) 537-4407 or visit his website at www.misitiglobal.com. His firm is experienced with VAWA petitions and will be happy to speak with you about your potential case.
*Attorney Advertising: Prior results do not guarantee a future, similar outcome.