possible by the federal Violence Against Women Act, is sometimes available to victims of battery or extreme cruelty committed by a:
- U.S. citizen former spouse
- U.S. citizen son or daughter
- Lawful permanent resident spouse
- Lawful permanent resident former spouse
- Lawful permanent resident parent
In some cases, you can self-petition for a VAWA green card. That means you don’t need a sponsor to do it for you (because in many cases like these, the person who would be the sponsor is also the abuser).
Who is Eligible for a VAWA Green Card?
You may be eligible for a VAWA green card if you:
- File Form I-485 to adjust your status
- Are physically present in the U.S. when you file your Form I-485
- Are eligible for an immigrant visa
- Are admissible to the U.S. for lawful permanent residence (or you’re eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or another type of relief)
What Are Bars to Adjustment?
Some people are barred from adjusting their immigration status. Sometimes it’s because they entered the U.S. illegally or committed certain crimes (including violations of immigration law). You need to know that as a VAWA self-petitioner, you may be exempt from those bars to adjustment.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Getting a VAWA Green Card?
If you’re the victim of battery or extreme cruelty and the person who did it to you is your spouse or another family member outlined above, you could be eligible for a VAWA green card.