VAWA Filing Process
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.
You must file the form with the Vermont Service Center (VSC). If you are a self-petitioning spouse or child and you meet all filing requirements, you will receive a notice valid for 150 days that you can present to government agencies that provide certain public benefits to victims of domestic violence.
If your petition is approved and you do not have legal status in the United States, USCIS may place you in deferred action, which allows you to remain in the United States.