The following guide is intended for applicants seeking protection under the Violence Against Women Act.
GenerallyThe Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows spouses and children of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents to self-petition for permanent resident status, without the abuser's help or knowledge.
EligibilityTo self-petition for permanent residency under VAWA, an individual must: Show that s/he lived with a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse; Show that s/he was battered or subjected to extreme cruelty during the marriage; Show that s/he entered the marriage in good faith; o Show s/he is otherwise qualified for admission; and Show that s/he has good moral character.
ProcessYou must file USCIS Form I-360 and all supporting documents and fees, including evidence of your good faith marriage to your USC or LPR spouse, evidence of the abuse you suffered, proof that you resided with your spouse, and evidence of your good character.
Evidence - Good Faith MarriageIn order to prove your relationship to your USC or LPR spouse, you should submit the following documentation: Bank statements for joint checking, savings, and credit card accounts; Joint health, life, property, and auto insurance agreements, statements, and cards; Utility bills showing both names (electricity, water, gas, trash, cable, internet, cell phone, etc.); Tax returns filed as married showing both names; Documents showing joint ownership of real property, cars, or investments; Life insurance policies, wills, and trusts, designating your spouse as a beneficiary; Travel itineraries and hotel bookings from joint vacations or trips; Photos from joint vacations or trips, particularly trips abroad to visit family members; Tickets to events you both attended or plan to attend; Receipts for any gifts you have purchased for each other; Phone and text message records showing that you and your spouse communicate on a regular basis