Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), there are certain immigration benefits available to eligible spouses, children, and parents who are victims of abuse perpetrated by United States citizens or by lawful permanent residents. Provisions of VAWA allow for foreign nationals to obtain lawful status in the U.S. on their own by filing a self-petition for a green card. This option is beneficial for individuals suffering from abuse because they do not need to rely on their abusive family member to help them obtain a green card.
If you are considering filing a self-petition for a green card as a victim of spousal abuse by a United States citizen and you want to learn more about your options, a VAWA Spouse Living Abroad Lawyer NYC can help. The immigration lawyers at Feiner & Lavy, P.C. have assisted many individuals with obtaining green cards and achieving permanent resident status in the United States.
At Feiner & Lavy, we prioritize our clients’ needs and make every effort to ensure that our clients understand and feel comfortable with the legal steps we take in each case. To learn more about how we can help you, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
Before filing a self-petition, you should first make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements. If you are unsure about whether you meet these eligibility requirements, a VAWA Spouse Living Abroad Lawyer NYC can help you determine if you do.
It is important to keep in mind that relatives of nonimmigrants in the United States (who hold temporary visas) cannot receive a green card under VAWA. However, in some instances, they may be able to apply for a work permit.
The eligibility requirements, specific to a victim of spousal abuse, include the following:
Your relationship must also be a qualifying spousal relationship. If you are not currently married, then your marriage to your abuser must have been terminated by either divorce related to the abuse or by death within the two-year period prior to filing your petition. Another qualifying spousal relationship condition includes cases where your spouse either lost or renounced citizenship or their permanent resident status within the two-year period before filing your petition due to a domestic violence incident.
Generally, it is also a requirement that you live in the United States to be eligible to obtain a green card under VAWA—but there are some exceptions. A VAWA Spouse Living Abroad Lawyer NYC will be able to explain these exceptions and help you determine whether an exception applies to you.
There are some situations in which a spouse living abroad can be eligible to get a green card under VAWA. For example, if your abuser is employed by the United States government or armed forces, you are able to receive a green card under VAWA. Additionally, you can also obtain a green card while living abroad if the abuse from your spouse occurred in the United States.
To get started with your petition, you will need to fill out Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. It is crucial to note that a self-petition cannot be filed at a consulate abroad or at a U.S. embassy.
The petition must be filed at the DHS Vermont Service Center. This location has been designed to handle the petitions that are filed by self-petitioning applicants who have been victims of abuse. A VAWA Spouse Living Abroad Lawyer NYC can help you make sure that you file your petition correctly and include all of the required documentation.
For a self-petition, the priority date is the date that the petition was properly filed. The petition must be properly signed and executed, and you must also submit the required fee. In cases in which the applicant is also the beneficiary of a family-based visa petition by the abuser that has been filed earlier, the earlier priority date may be assigned.
Additionally, the approval of a self-petition does not impact a relative petition. A child or a spouse can be both the beneficiary of a self-petition as well as the beneficiary of a relative visa petition filed by the abuser. If a person is qualified with both, they may seek an immigrant visa based on either petition, whichever one is more beneficial for their case. A VAWA Spouse Living Abroad Lawyer NYC will be able to help you understand if this scenario is applicable in your case, and if so, how to proceed.
You are not required to hire a VAWA Spouse Living Abroad Lawyer NYC in order to file your petition for a green card on your own. However, hiring a VAWA Spouse Living Abroad Lawyer NYC can help you ensure that you are eligible to file this type of petition and also help you fill out the petition and organize the required supporting documentation.
Contact the immigration attorneys at Feiner & Lavy, P.C. today to learn more about how we can help you file your self-petition and obtain a green card. We can help you achieve your immigration goals.
**This is general information and is NOT intended to provide legal advice.
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