Who is Eligible to File a VAWA Petition?
The following persons are eligible to file a self-petition under VAWA:
- Abused spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanents residents
- While the law refers to "Violence Against Women," men, boys, and girls may also apply for relief under VAWA
- Spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are not abused, but whose children are
- Abused "intended spouses"
- A spouse who entered a bigamous marriage in good faith may also self-petition under VAWA
- Abused parents of U.S. citizen children
- Abused children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
- Abused children of U.S. citizens may self-petition up to the age of 25 if the primary reason for the delay in filing was abuse by the U.S. citizen parent
Note: An immigrant is still eligible to self-petition within two years after:
- The death of his or her U.S. citizen abuser (not of lawful permanent resident)
- Divorce, so long as the abused spouse can demonstrate a connection between the legal termination of the marriage and the battery.extreme cruelty (divorce after filing the VAWA petition does not negatively impact the outcome of the case)
- Deportation of the abuser but only where there is a connection between the deportation and the domestic violence
- The abusing spouse renounced or lost his US Citizenship/Legal Permanent Residence status, if the loss wa related to an incident or domestic violence