Taking domestic abuse lightly is not the smartest thing to do, especially in the United States. Suppose you are a victim of domestic violence from a U.S. citizen spouse or parent like in Austin, Texas, you may qualify to obtain a Green Card under the Violence Against Women Act. Such experience qualifies you to take advantage and get protection through this government program. You can start by using the keyword “VAWA lawyer near me” in your online search.
Purpose Of The Violence Against Women Act
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, emotional violence, and even stalking. It was first enacted in 1994 and has since been reauthorized by Congress several times.
The purpose of the VAWA is to prevent and diminish the incidence of violence against women. It does this by providing funding for services to victims, such as legal assistance, counseling, hotlines, shelters, and transitional housing. It also includes funding for training law enforcement and court personnel to better handle cases of violence against women.
In addition, qualified immigrant victims of domestic violence are eligible to self-petition for legal immigration status without the abuser’s knowledge or involvement. Victims of domestic violence can apply for immigration relief without depending on their abuser to sponsor them, as is often the case with other forms of immigration relief.
By filing a VAWA self-petition, the victim of domestic violence can obtain legal immigration status, which they can then use to apply for adjustment of residency status. It is an important way for victims of domestic violence to gain independence from their abusers and access resources and services to improve their lives and live more freely in Austin, Texas.
Form I-360 VAWA Petitions
Form I-360 acts for various types of petitioners. Some of these include those seeking to establish residency or petition for the children or spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
As a domestic violence victim seeking to self-petition for residency utilizing VAWA, you don’t have to fill out the parts specifically designed for other categories. These include widows, Amerasians, particular immigrant juvenile court dependents, and religious workers.
Although the majority of the forms in the I-360 are simple, there are still a couple of things to consider. One of these is using an alternative address to protect yourself if the abusive partner still runs free. The USCIS will send all notices to that address, for the victim’s welfare and protection.
VAWA Immigration Qualifications
The Violence Against Women Act provides financial and legal support to domestic violence victims. It does not only apply to immigrant women. If a man experiences violence from his partner, or if a child under 18 faces abuse, they can apply for a petition for U.S. citizenship under VAWA.
If you are already an abuse victim, preparing the necessary documents may be challenging. Most find it helpful to do an online search as a first step, using the keywords “VAWA lawyer near me.” Hiring one ensures they comply legally with all the paperwork and get a higher chance for their petition to get approved.
If you are a victim of terrible domestic violence or abuse, you can file a self-petition under VAWA. It is also applicable when you are married to a U.S. citizen or LPR, and they are abusing your child or offspring. The Act requires proof that the victim was subjected to cruelty by a U.S. citizen partner or parent for at least three years.
Many immigrants who are victims of domestic violence in Austin, Texas, do not file a petition due to their fear of not being qualified to receive support under the VAWA. Although assault and battery are often the primary forms of abuse, abusers can also use other forms of violence against victims like sexual violence, emotional violence, and psychological violence.
Domestic abuse occurs in a relationship that aims to control or gain power over one’s intimate partner. Various forms of abuse are present against victims, such as sexual assault and battery. Regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, or level of education, domestic violence can happen to anyone.
If you are an immigrant married to an abusive U.S. citizen or LPR, you might be experiencing threats to withhold documents or deport you. Even if your abuser does these, you can still apply for citizenship under the VAWA.
VAWA Self-Petition Application
The first phase in applying for a Green Card is to file a VAWA case for U.S. citizenship with the USCIS. The second step involves applying for adjustment of status while ensuring that your abuser does not harm you.
Although the two steps mentioned are relatively simple, the process is challenging due to the nature of the case. If you start to wonder, “Can a VAWA lawyer near me help?”, the answer is yes. A skilled attorney can assist you in completing all necessary documents and guide you throughout the proceeding.
Another step in filing a self-petition is to use Form I-360, a Petition for Special Immigrant, Amerasian, or Widow(er). You don’t have to pay the fee if you are on the list of qualified VAWA petitioners. If the USCIS approves your petition, you will be issued a Green Card.
Hiring A VAWA Lawyer
To apply for a Green Card petition under VAWA in Austin, Texas, it is crucial to hire a trusted legal counsel. Although it is not a requirement, working with a lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected as you continue your journey to get a Green Card. An attorney can help you navigate the complex process of applying for a Visa under circumstances like domestic abuse.
If you are a target of domestic violence, remember that there are provisions in the law that can protect you. Your abuser may try to downplay the severity of the abuse, but a lawyer can help you prove otherwise. Knowing that the process for obtaining a VAWA immigrant Visa is confidential can help you avoid getting threatened by your abuser. This way, you can protect yourself and your children from aggravated abuse.
Even though the application process for VAWA is confidential, there may be a time when your abuser will know about it. They might monitor you through various means, such as your phone or car GPS. By finding a VAWA lawyer to help, you will have immediate support in preventing your abusive parent or spouse from ever abusing you again.
Effects Of VAWA To The Abuser
You can decide whether or not to involve your abuser in the petition. One of the most critical factors that VAWA considers when protecting victims is the lack of requirement to report the attacker.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protects women and children from abusive individuals such as spouses or parents. It allows victims to protect themselves by applying for immigration benefits. The immigration agency will investigate and involve the police to ensure you achieve the justice you deserve.
Benefits Of Getting An Approved VAWA Petition
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides numerous benefits for those who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of abuse. An approved VAWA petition grants an individual the eligibility to petition for immigration status. It is a step closer to getting citizenship in the United States.
VAWA can allow victims of abuse to get legal immigration status, authorizing them to remain in the United States without fear of deportation. Additionally, abuse victims may be eligible to apply for specific work permits and receive other benefits, such as access to public benefits and eligibility for permanent residency.
The law also provides victims of abuse access to legal services and other support services, including counseling, and legal aid. These services can help abuse victims navigate the complicated immigration process and provide them with the necessary resources to rebuild their lives.
Furthermore, VAWA provides victims of abuse with access to justice. VAWA grants victims of abuse the ability to file a civil suit against their abuser. It allows victims to seek legal recourse and financial compensation for their physical and emotional abuse.
A VAWA lawyer can help in self-petition cases by providing the necessary legal advice and representation to ensure that the self-petitioner’s case is successfully presented to the USCIS. The lawyer can also assist in preparing and filing the application, responding to requests for evidence, and preparing any necessary court documents.
Additionally, your lawyer can provide advice on the program’s eligibility requirements and represent you in any legal proceedings, such as immigration court hearings.
Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is a group of legal professionals who help various kinds of people regarding cases related to immigration, like applying for a Green Card under VAWA. They will guide you and your children throughout the process, ensuring that the petition will no longer add to the stress you’re experiencing. Contact one of their lawyers in Austin, Texas, today.
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