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Battered Immigrants: Self-Petitioners

Questions and Answers: Filing T, U, and VAWA Petitions with USCIS :
These Questions & Answers concern filing requirements for T, U, and VAWA petitions with USCIS. They also address requests for expedited processing, confidentiality issues, adjudicator training, petition processing for applicants in removal proceedings, and travel authorizations, among other issues. Read More

Interoffice Memorandum: Determinations of Good Moral Character in VAWA- Based Self-Petitions :
The purpose of this memorandum is to inform U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicators at the Vermont Service Center (VSC) of the change in the law concerning determinations of good moral character made in connection with VAWA-based self-petitions (Forms I-360). Read More

Fact Sheet: USCIS Issues Guidance For Approved Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitioners :
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently provided guidance to USCIS adjudicators for adjudicating Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) applications filed by Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners who are present in the United States without having been inspected and admitted or paroled. The guidance memo was issued on April 11, 2008. Read More

Policy Memorandum: Continued Eligibility to File for Child VAWA Self-Petitioners After Attaining Age 21; Revisions to Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 21.14 (AFM Update AD07-02) :
This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers regarding an amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act) that provides for continued eligibility for certain individuals to file a VAWA self-petition as a child after attaining age 21, but before attaining age 25. The guidance contained in this PM is effective immediately and in advance of regulatory amendments. Read More

Memorandum: Adjustment of status for VAWA self-petitioner who is present without inspection; Revision of Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 23.5 (AFM Update AD 08-16) :
This memorandum provides guidance to USCIS adjudicators for adjudicating adjustment of status applications filed by VAWA self-petitioners who are present in the United States without having been inspected and admitted or paroled. Read More

Battered Spouse, Children & Parents :
As a battered spouse, child or parent, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA allows certain spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) to file a petition for themselves without the abusers’ knowledge. This will allow you to seek both safety and independence from the abuser. The provisions of VAWA apply equally to women and men. Your abuser will not be notified that you have filed for immigration benefits under VAWA. Read More

Memorandum: Eligibility to Self-Petition as a Battered Spouse of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Within Two Years of Divorce :
This memorandum describes a change to the VAWA self-petitioning provisions made by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA) that preserves self-petitioning eligibility for former spouses of abusive U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents if the marriage was legally terminated during the two-year period immediately preceding the filing of the self-petition. Read More

Policy Memorandum: Revocation of VAWA-Based Self-Petitions (Forms I-360) (AFM Update AD10-49) :
The purposed of this policy memorandum (PM) restates the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) revocation policy. Read More

Survivor Stories :
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed by Congress in 1994. Among many other protections, VAWA created special provisions in United States immigration law to protect immigrant victims of domestic violence. The VAWA Self-Petitioning process allows a battered spouse of a United States citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) to break free from the sponsorship control that an abusive spouse may have over the undocumented immigrant and petition on their own (self-petition) to gain legal status in the United States. Read More

An Overview of the VAWA Self-petitioning Process :
General process for petitioning INS to permit the entry of relatives to the United States. Read More