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Why is I-360 VAWA self petition taking so long and what can I do about it?

Houston, TX |

I filed (self petition) I-360 VAWA (Battered Spouse) with Vermont Service Center on May of 2011. Within a few weeks I received a Notice of Action (797) and a Prima Facie Determination. The PFD was valid for 6 months- twice and in 1 month increments. In June 2012, I was issued a Request for Evidence and I sent additional evidences as required. They received the RFE in August 2012. On USCIS website under My Case Status, it says RFE Initial Review. The same page says that a decision will be made within 60 days of receiving the evidence. It has been over 150 days since they actually received it.
What am I missing here? What could be the case and what would be the solution?

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Attorney answers 5


It is possible that your evidence has yet to be reviewed. It is also possible that the USCIS plans to issue a denial or notice of intent to deny decision. You may need an attorney or Congressmen to intervene on your behalf. Otherwise, you may have to wait.

The USCIS seems to estimate on how much time it will take, on average, to make decisions. The estimates are merely averages and at times some filings are overlooked or simply lack what is expected in an approvable filing as a matter of law. Good luck.

This is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.


This kind of case normally takes a long time. It would be necessary to check the processing times for this kind of application to see if your processing time is current. If so, it would be necessary to contact USCIS to check why is taking longer, and probably also schedule an appointment to talk to an immigration officer.


Do you have an attorney for your case? You might want to consider consulting with an immigration attorney for your case. You may submit additional evidence, if you have some documents or other items to submit to support your case, even after your response to the RFE. I suggest that you consult with an experienced attorney to see what is happening with your case and to see if there are some ways to make the application stronger, if possible.

(734) 369-3131. This communication does not establish and attorney-client relationship with the Law Office of Michael Carlin PLLC or any individual member of the office. Confidential information should not be sent through this form.


It is normal for this type of case to take a long time, particularly if you filed it on your own. Also, I agree with attorney Dixler, they may be preparing a NOID or denial. I would recommend you work with an attorney.

Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general in nature, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


I agree with my colleagues. These things simply take time. RFEs are common in battered spouse petitions. And also be aware the time-frame posted on the website is just a ballpark estimate.