facebook pixel
Three person talking about legal stuff

What to Know Before Applying for VAWA?

VAWA provides you with the opportunity to seek legal residency in the United States, but before applying, it is crucial to understand the key aspects of this process.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) program is an important avenue for those who have suffered abuse or mistreatment by a U.S. citizen spouse or legal permanent resident. VAWA offers an opportunity to pursue legal residency in the United States, but before applying, it’s essential to comprehend all the key aspects of this process. In this article, we will provide you with essential information about what you should know before applying for VAWA.


What is VAWA?

VAWA is federal legislation enacted in 1994 with the purpose of protecting victims of domestic violence and abuse. This law allows individuals who have suffered abuse at the hands of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent to apply for immigration status independently of their current status. In addition to protecting victims, VAWA also aims to prevent domestic violence and provide resources and support to those who have experienced it.


Eligibility for VAWA


To qualify for VAWA, you must meet certain specific requirements. Here are some key points to consider:


Abusive relationship:


You must demonstrate that you have been a victim of physical or psychological abuse or mistreatment by your U.S. citizen spouse or legal permanent resident. This can include physical assaults, threats, coercion, or emotional control.


Marriage or relationship with the abuser:


You must be married to the abuser or be their unmarried child under the age of 21 to qualify. If you are a married adult child or over 21, you may still be eligible under certain circumstances.


Good moral character:


You must have good general moral character and not have committed certain serious crimes that could affect your eligibility.


Proof of joint residence:


You must provide evidence that you have resided in the United States with the abuser.



You must file the petition on your own, without the involvement of the abuser.


Documentation and Evidence


It is essential to gather and present strong evidence to support your VAWA application. This may include:


Police reports:


If you have reported the abuse to the authorities, these reports can be key evidence.


Medical records:


Medical records documenting injuries or treatments related to the abuse can support your case.


Personal statements:


Your detailed statement describing the abuse you have suffered is crucial.


Supporting letters:


You can obtain letters from friends, family, or professionals who are aware of the situation and can testify to your experience.


Relationship evidence:


You will need to provide evidence of the relationship with the abuser, such as marriage certificates or joint financial records.


Application Process


The VAWA application process involves several steps, including filing a Form I-360 and collecting evidence of abuse and the relationship with the abuser. Once the application is approved, you may be eligible to apply for legal permanent residency in the United States. It’s important to note that the process can be complex and time-consuming, and having the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney can be of great help.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can I apply for VAWA if I divorce the abuser?


Yes, you can submit a VAWA application even if you have divorced the abuser, as long as you meet the other eligibility requirements.


What happens if my VAWA application is approved?


If your application is approved, you can apply for legal permanent residency in the United States. Once you obtain this residency, you will have the opportunity to live and work in the country permanently.


How long does the VAWA application process take?


The processing time can vary depending on various factors, but it can take several months or even more than a year. It’s important to be patient and follow the steps correctly to avoid unnecessary delays.


VAWA is a valuable legal tool that can provide hope and protection to victims of domestic violence and abuse. However, it’s essential to understand the requirements and the process before submitting an application. If you are considering applying for VAWA, we recommend seeking legal advice to ensure that your application is supported by appropriate evidence and is submitted correctly and timely. With the right guidance, you can take a significant step towards a life free from abuse and legal status in the United States. Your safety and well-being are paramount!


If you need assistance, you can call us now at (832) 305-6560 for more information.


If you want to know more about the subject, please call us at (832) 305-6560.


Follow us and stay up to date with all immigration information.



We trust this information has enriched your understanding of the requirements for embarking on the immigration process. You can find more insights on this and other immigration-related topics on our website.


Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, the material on this site has been prepared for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal or other professional advice, and its receipt does not constitute any type of attorney-client relationship. Never disregard the advice of your own attorney to discuss your particular case. 


This information is copyright © If you wish to disseminate this information, please be sure to attribute it to www.lawvm.com.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Arrow Up Icon
Sign up to receive e-mail updates and stay in the loop about all things Law VM.