VAWA is a program where there is support and protection for a victim of abuse or cruelty in a relationship with a citizen or permanent resident, which would normally be requested through a family petition process.
This person who suffered domestic abuse can do the process on their own without the help of the abuser.
The most common VAWA case is when an immigrant is married to a citizen or permanent resident who does not want to petition for VAWA, it does not matter if they are of the same sex since any marriage between two people is legal.
The immigrant can petition for permanent residence without telling their spouse, but VAWA still applies to other people who may be able to adjust their immigration status through a family-based petition, including minors who have been abused by their parents.
What Does It Mean For A Child Of An Immigrant To Be An Aggressor In VAWA Terms?
Under the VAWA program, a parent who has been the victim of abuse or mistreatment in the relationship with their U.S. citizen child may apply for permanent residency or VAWA without the assistance or knowledge of their adult child.
For you to be eligible for this program, you must prove that you have suffered verbal, mental, emotional, or physical abuse.
Can Men Apply For VAWA If Their Child Is Abusing Them?
Yes, you can, because even though VAWA stands for Violence Against Women Act, the law protects men and women equally, so if the applicant is male it doesn’t matter because he is still fully eligible for a VAWA case.
Do Police Choose Bands In VAWA Cases? Citizen Or Immigrant?
If you are calling the police, the abuser may be arrested, the police may decide to make the arrest, they may decide to press charges, or it may result in a conviction, but a police report is not necessary for a VAWA case, you do not have to have a police report to qualify for VAWA.
In fact, that is indeed a requirement for an U Visa case, which is for victims who suffered violence including crimes, who assist law enforcement in the investigation, but VAWA is not a program to assist law enforcement, VAWA is a law that exists to protect victims only and does not require a report.
If you believe that your child or citizen relative is going to harm you in any way and you call the police, that citizen relative may be arrested.
If we are talking about sending a VAWA case to immigration saying that you are the mother of a U.S. born child who is 22 years old and has hit you but never made a report to the police, you can win your VAWA case without affecting your son, he is not going to be arrested for you making a VAWA case, but if you call the police this may result in an arrest.
What Happens If My Child Calls Immigration While In The VAWA Process?
Most of the cases we receive at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law are threats from the abuser, it is part of the case.
If someone is in a relationship with a citizen or permanent resident and that person has threatened to make a call to immigration to get a deportation order, that is considered abuse.
This means that you could qualify for VAWA, but it is very important to understand that you will have protection that comes with a VAWA case, and that prohibits immigration from talking to the abuser in the case.
After the time you send the packet to immigration with your forms, and your VAWA application, immigration cannot accept calls or information from your abuser, there is a law that says so.
The abuser may call daily, but that will not affect the immigrant because immigration cannot accept that information, nor can immigration give information about the case to anyone, including her husband.
What If There Is No “Proof” Of The Abuse?
That is a concern of most of our clients at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, because domestic violence or abuse is a private matter, and if you have not made a report to the police there may not be common evidence.
We are very creative in finding evidence to win your case, we can use letters or testimonials from people who may be friends, family, or neighbors, we can use photos of bruises, scars, text messages or emails, and information on social networks can also be useful.
Many times we don’t have a lot of evidence that is part of the applicant’s history, that’s why history is very important, and it’s a way for you to know that you have good legal representation, for example.
In our office, we help our clients write their detailed history, with a lot of information about the time of the events, because those details are very important in cases where there is not much evidence.
Can My Child’s Citizenship Be Taken Away If I Apply For VAWA?
No, there is no way a person can lose citizenship if someone applies for VAWA to adjust status without the help of that citizen.
There are many parents of citizens who cannot adjust the status for their children because the law says that when a parent entered without a Visa and had a child born in the United States and stayed since that time, and now their child has turned 21, that parent cannot adjust status for their child because a waiver for presence without permission is required, and they cannot get a waiver based on the relationship to the child.
There are millions of parents in the United States of citizen children, and the parents cannot adjust, but VAWA has an exception, there is a way to adjust their immigration status under VAWA even if the parent entered without a Visa.
If your child is over 21 years of age and there are problems in the relationship, problems that may have taken place in the past many years ago, you are still eligible for VAWA.
It is worth investigating whether this program is an option for you to adjust your immigration status because we have clients where attorneys have told them that there is no way to arrange for their children, but VAWA is still available.
Can Stepparents Or Adoptive Parents Qualify For VAWA?
It does not necessarily have to be an adoptive parent, as stepparents who have not completed an adoption can qualify for VAWA, the important thing is that the marriage between the mother and stepparent occurred before the child’s 18th birthday.
We always talk about the age where someone is considered an adult in immigration is 21 years of age, but for step-parents, the important date they take into account is the 18th birthday and having been married to the mother or father before the child reaches that age.
If My Child Was Aggressive As A Minor Can I Still Qualify For VAWA If They’re Older?
Yes, they can qualify, there is no deadline for VAWA for parents and children, they should do it as soon as possible because it is easier to prove a case when the abuse is recent, but there is no deadline.
If the child is deceased we have to apply within 2 years, but other than that there is no deadline.