Battered Spouses / Children of U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent

In 1994, Congress passed a law referred to as “VAWA,” which stands for the Violence Against Women Act, creating special routes to immigration status for certain battered non citizens. Among the basic requirements for eligibility, a battered non citizen must be the spouse or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Through a self-petitioning process, the battered spouse/child may apply for permanent residency without the involvement of the abuser. Battered spouses or children of U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are the subjects of deportation proceedings may also be eligible for this form of relief through cancellation of removal.

Battered spouses who have been granted conditional residence through marriage to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident may also be eligible to apply for relief to remove the conditions of his/her residence by independently filing a Form I-751 application.

There is extensive evidence that must be gathered in support of these forms of relief, including evidence of battery/abuse/extreme cruelty and proof of the qualifying relationship to the abuser.

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