The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was enacted in 1994; the law provides protection against domestic violence. The law allows for an immigrant spouse, children or parent that has been abused to personally apply for permanent residence in the US without having to involve the abuse individual.
VAWA is extremely important to those whose legal immigration status relies on their maintaining a relationship with an individual who subjects them to physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Although the law was originally intended to protect women, it has been expanded to include men, children and parents.
Obtaining permanent residence under VAWA:
As the application and the process prior to approval is quite complex, it is advisable for any applicant for lawful permanent residence hire a VAWA lawyer in Chicago. As the applicant you must provide explicit details of the abuse including medical records that support the accusation of extreme cruelty or battery. You must provide evidence that the individual that abused you is a US citizen or a green card holder. You must also prove who you are to the authorities and demonstrate that you are a person of sound moral character.
As well as these supporting documents your VAWA attorney in Chicago will need to provide evidence to the authorities of your relationship to the alleged abuser and that you cohabited with this person for a significant period of time. You have to prove that you are either married at the moment to the abuser or the marriage has been terminated within the last two years because of the abuse.
What if you don’t qualify?
If, after providing all the requested documentation you are denied residency under VAWA you might be able to petition for legal status under what is known as a “U Visa.” This is a unique visa that is available to those who are victims of a crime, including domestic violence. A seasoned VAWA attorney in Chicago will be in a position to assist.
If you rely on a relationship with a US citizen or green card holder to stay in the US but you are being subjected to abuse, there is a solution. A VAWA attorney in Chicago can help you get permanent residence on your own. You are welcome to discuss your situation with Din Law at www.dinlaw.com.