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THROUGH VAWA

GREEN CARD

Q. Who can get a Green Card under VAWA:

A. You may be able to get a Green Card if you are a victim of extreme mental cruelty or physical abuse by:

  • Spouse who is a U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder

  • Parent who is a U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder

  • Son or daughter who is a U.S. Citizen

Q. How can one prove mental abuse which is at the level of extreme mental cruelty?

A. Generally, one would seek help from a qualified psychologist. A psychologist would need to provide information about the nature of abuse.  Also, one would wright a personal statement explaining the abuse. When our firm handles VAWA cases, our attorneys also provide a detailed legal brief, where we summarize the psychologist’s report and tie the facts to the legal requirements under VAWA.

Q. We got married, but my abusive spouse refused to sign the I-130 form for my Green Card. Can I still file for Green Card under VAWA?

A. Yes. A spouse who was abused can self-petition under VAWA. What matters here is the fact that you were married.

Q. I lived with a common-law spouse who was abusive. Can I file under VAWA even though we were not legally married?

A. Yes, but only if the state where you lived recognizes common law marriage.  Generally, Kansas, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Texas, Colorado, and Utah recognize common-law marriage under some circumstances.

Q. I lived with a common-law spouse who was abusive. Can I file under VAWA even though we were not legally married?

A. Yes, but only if the state where you lived recognizes common law marriage.  Generally, Kansas, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Texas, Colorado, and Utah recognize common-law marriage under some circumstances.

Q. Would my spouse need to go to an interview with me under VAWA.

A. There is no interview under the VAWA claim. There, would be an adjustment of status interview after the VAWA approval as part of the Green Card application that generally does not pertain to questions about the abuse under VAWA. If an interview officer still asks questions about VAWA, your attorneys should assist you with explaining that the questions may not be asked about the circumstances giving rise to VAWA. 

Q. I have been in the United States without any status for many years. Am I eligible to get Green Card if I get my VAWA petition approved?

A. Yes. You can adjust your status to that of Permanent Resident (Green Card) under VAWA even if you are out of status.

Q. My case was referred to Immigration Court after I did not get approval at the Asylum interview. Can I adjust status to Green Card under VAWA?

A. Yes, if you were a victim of extreme cruelty through physical or mental abuse and you got your VAWA petition approved, Immigration judge will adjust your status to Green Card. 

Q. I crossed the boarder into the United States. Am I eligible to adjust my status to Green Card under VAWA?

A. Yes, VAWA provides for the adjustment of status for undocumented aliens.

Q. How long does it take to get VAWA approved and to get Green Card? 

A. The wait time varies, but generally one can get his VAWA claim approved within 1.5 to 2 years and a Green Card within about 1 to 1.5 years thereafter.

Q. Can I get work authorization under VAWA?

A. Yes, generally, with approximately 6 months after filing, you may get work authorization.

Q. Can I travel and come back under VAWA?

A. Yes. You should obtain an Advance Parole document before leaving the country.

Q. Can I file a VAWA claim if I am in Asylum proceedings?

A. Yes, you may file a VAWA claim regardless of any other status or visa that you may be under.

Q. Would my spouse know I filed a VAWA claim?

A. Typically, a spouse is not notified of your VAWA claim, as your statements and psychological evaluation are confidential.

Q. How long would I have had to live with my spouse before being able to file under VAWA?

A. There is no requirement that you stay in an abusive relationship. This is precisely the reason Congress passed VAWA. Some of our VAWA cases involve as little as two weeks of cohabitation. The standard under VAWA is that you must have entered into a bona fide marriage. One can demonstrate this by showing evidence of a marriage ceremony, joint bank accounts, joint insurance, utilities, and other accounts, etc.

Q. If I got divorced, can I still file for VAWA?

A. Yes. It does not matter under VAWA if you got divorced or if you are still married.

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