VAWA

VAWA

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows a battered spouse, child or parent to file an immigrant visa petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows victims of abuse to seek safety and independence from their abuser in the United States. The abuser is not notified about the filing. Additionally, VAWA applies equally to all genders and is not specific to women. VAWA applicants may apply for work and travel permits while their green card applications are pending.

Individuals may also file as an abused spouse if their child has been abused by their U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse. These applicants may include unmarried children under the age of 21 on their petitions.
Additionally, abused children who are under the age of 21 and unmarried may file for themselves. These applicants can file for themselves as children after age 21 but before age 25 if they can demonstrate that the abuse was the main reason for the delay in filing.

Help is also available from the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TDD). The hotline has information about shelters, mental health care, legal advice and other types of assistance. For more information, visit the National Domestic Violence website at thehotline.org/.