Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
What is VAWA?
Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994 to help combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crimes. This act provides funding for investigations of crimes, prosecuting criminals for those acts, and giving certain benefits to the immigrant. Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), immigrants suffering abuse from a spouse or parents may be eligible to become lawful permanent residents (green card).
It is important to note that while it is called the Violence Against Women Act, this does not limit protection for just immigrant women. Men, Native Americans, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are also eligible for protection under this act. You are eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident (green card) if you are:
- abused by your U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) spouse.
- a spouse of a U.S. Citizen or LPR, and your child or children are being abused.
- a child of a U.S. citizen or LPR being abused or battered by a parent.
It is important to note that abuse takes on many forms, and it is hard for some people to recognize it. Unfortunately, many people do NOT end up applying solely because they do not believe that they would qualify for VAWA. Here are some signs that what you are experiencing is domestic violence.
- Physical abuse
- Sexual assault and rape
- Emotional abuse
- Financial control
- Psychological Manipulation
Remember, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender; anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. USCIS understands that abusers might threaten you by withholding your document or deportation. It is important to understand that you are STILL eligible even if that happens. VAWA immigration cases are confidential, and the government will not contact you directly to ensure your safety.
If you are being abused, or you suspect you are eligible based on the information on this page, feel free to reach out and schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys. The VAWA process is confidential, and our attorneys will ensure that your abuser is not notified. We also have phone and video calls if you cannot consult in person. Make sure to let us know the best way to contact you.