Special Immigration: Battered Spouse, Children & Parents

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides relieve for battered spouses, children or parents. If you fit this criteria, you may file an immigrant Visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

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Those Eligible to File:

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Parent of a child who has been abused by their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.
  • Child who has been abused by their U.S. Citizen or permanent resident parent.

Eligibility Requirements for a Spouse:

You may file for yourself if you are, or were, the abused spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You may also include on your petition your unmarried children who are under 21, if they have not filed for themselves.

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Eligibility Requirements for a Parent:

You may file for yourself if you are the parent of a child who has been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse. You may include on your petition your children, including those who have not been abused, if they have not filed for themselves. You may also file if you are the parent of a U.S. citizen, and you have been abused by your U.S. citizen child.

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Eligibility Requirements for a Child:

You may file for yourself if you are an abused child. You should be under twenty-one, unmarried and have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent. Your children may also be included on your petition. If you can demonstrate that the abuse was the main reason for the delay in filing, you may file for yourself as a child after the age of twenty-one but before twenty-five.

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Filing Process:

In order to obtain relief you must complete the Form 1-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. You must file the form, and all supporting documentation with the Vermont Service Center (VSC). If you meet all filing requirements, you will receive a notice (Prima Facie Determination Notice). This notice is valid for 150 days. You may also present this notice to government agencies that provide certain public benefits to certain victims of domestic violence. Although you will not have legal immigration status, we may we may place you in deferred action, which allows you to remain in the United States

Working in the United States:

If you have been approved, or are in deferred action, you are eligible to apply to work in the United States. However, you must file Form 1-765 with the Vermont Service Center. Your children, listed on your I-360, may also apply for work authorization.

Permanent Residence (Green Card):

If you have an approved Form I-360, you and your children may be eligible to file for a green card.

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 heath care, legal advice and other types of assistance, including information about filing for immigration status.

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