Written by attorney Neelofer Syed

VAWA Cancellation of Removal

The criteria of relief, Cancellation of Removal, for victims of domestic violence is very different than what I have described in previous guide covering the topic for non legal permanent residents.

The Cancellation of Removal for victims of domestic violence is termed as VAWA Cancellation of Removal. While the relief was created under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the relief is available to both men and women.

The following persons are eligible to apply for VAWA cancellation and suspension:

  • Abused spouses of USCs and LPRs;
  • Abused sons and daughters of USCs and LPRs;
  • Non-abused parents of abused children of USCs or LPRs, even if not married to the abuser; and
  • Abused intended spouses of USCs or LPRs.

The term intended spouse means a foreign national who believed that he or she married a USC or LPR and went through a marriage ceremony, but whose marriage is not legitimate solely because of the USC’s or LPR’s bigamy

To be eligible for this relief, law provides that the applicant for VAWA cancellation of removal must:

  • Have been present physically in the United States for three years before applying;
  • Be a person of good moral character during the period of physical presence;
  • Not have been convicted of an aggravated felony;
  • Not be inadmissible or deportable due to certain criminal, security, or marriage fraud violations; and
  • Demonstrate that removal would result in extreme hardship to the applicant, or the applicant’s child, or in the case of an applicant child, to the applicant’s parent.

VAWA cancellation does not require that the applicant needs be currently married to the abuser or demonstrate a good faith marriage. However, it is always better to have evidence of a good faith marriage, since a finding of having entered into a fraudulent marriage would make the applicant ineligible.

It should also be noted that, teh parent who has an abused child in common with USC or LPR abuser is not required to have been married to the abuser.

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