The Benefits of a VAWA Application

The Benefits of a VAWA Application

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Are you or someone you know facing domestic violence and struggling to find a way out? Look no further! In this blog post, we will explore the incredible benefits of applying for protection under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). From providing legal status to access to resources and support, VAWA offers a lifeline to survivors of abuse. Join us as we delve into the life-changing advantages of pursuing a VAWA application.

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Who is eligible for a VAWA application?

Eligibility for a VAWA application is an important factor to consider when seeking protection and benefits under this program. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was created in 1994 to provide support and resources to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other forms of gender-based violence.

To be eligible for a VAWA application, you must meet certain criteria outlined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These eligibility requirements include:

1. Relationship with the Abuser: In order to apply for a VAWA self-petition, you must have a qualifying relationship with your abuser. This includes being married or formerly married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, being the parent of a U.S. citizen child who is at least 21 years old, or being the child (minor or adult) of a U.S. citizen parent who has experienced abuse.

2. Proof of Abuse: You must provide evidence that you have been subjected to physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or extreme mental cruelty by your abuser. This can include police reports, medical records, witness statements, photographs of injuries and property damage, and any other relevant documentation.

3. Residency Requirement: To be eligible for VAWA protection and benefits as an undocumented immigrant through self-petitioning process under Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), you must prove that you reside in the United States currently.

4. Good Moral Character: As part of your application process under VAWA provisions such as Form I-360 Petition for Amerasian Widow(er), Battered Spouse/Child Parent category; you must demonstrate that you have good moral character. This means having no criminal record or other serious misconduct.

We recommend you to see this article: VAWA Eligibility In The United States (Updated 2024)

Benefits of having a VAWA application approved

Having a VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) application approved can bring numerous benefits to an individual who has been a victim of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect. In this section, we will discuss the significant advantages of having a VAWA application approved.

1. Pathway to Legal Status: One of the most significant benefits of having a VAWA application approved is that it can lead to legal status in the United States. This means that the victim can apply for a green card and eventually become a lawful permanent resident.

2. Protection from Deportation: Once an individual’s VAWA application is approved, they are granted protection from deportation proceedings by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

3. Work Authorization: With an approved VAWA application, victims may be eligible for employment authorization documents (EADs), also known as work permits. This gives them the opportunity to legally work in the United States and support themselves financially.

4. Eligibility for Public Benefits: Victims whose VAWA applications have been approved may also qualify for certain public benefits such as Medicaid, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and housing assistance programs.

5. Access to Social Services: Along with public benefits, individuals with approved VAWA applications are also eligible for social services provided by organizations such as domestic violence shelters and counseling programs.

At Gillman Immigration Law, we understand the importance of proper legal advice, visit our website and get the help you deserve.

The process of applying for VAWA

In this section, we will break down the steps involved in the VAWA application process to help you better understand what to expect.

1. Determine Eligibility: The first step in applying for VAWA is determining if you meet the eligibility requirements. This includes being a victim of domestic violence committed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent, having lived with your abuser at some point, and being a person of good moral character.

2. Gather Evidence: To support your VAWA application, you will need to gather evidence that proves the abuse you have experienced. This could include police reports, medical records, photographs, witness statements, and any other relevant documents that can prove the abuse occurred.

3. Fill Out Form I-360: Form I-360 is the official application for VAWA relief and must be completed accurately with all necessary information. It is important to provide detailed and honest answers as any discrepancies or false information can result in your application being denied.

4. Submit Supporting Documents: Along with Form I-360, you will need to submit supporting documents such as proof of relationship with your abuser (marriage certificate or birth certificate), proof of physical presence in the United States (bills or bank statements), and evidence of good moral character (letters from employers or community members).

5. Filing Fee Waiver Request: If you are unable to pay the filing fee for Form I-360 due to financial hardship caused by the abuse, you can request a fee waiver by filling out form I-912 along with your application.

6. Attend Biometrics Appointment: Once your application has been received by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), you will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment. This involves having your fingerprints, photograph and signature taken.

7. Interview: After completing the biometrics process, you may be called in for an interview with a USCIS officer to further discuss your application and the evidence provided.

8. Wait for Decision: After all necessary steps have been completed, you will need to wait for USCIS to make a decision on your VAWA application. This can take several months, but you can check the status of your application online.

We recommend you to see this article: Asylum Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Asylum

Common misconceptions about VAWA and dispelling them

One common misconception about VAWA is that it only benefits women. While it is true that the act was primarily designed to protect women from violence, it also extends its protections to men who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. In fact, one in seven men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Another misconception about VAWA is that it only applies to married couples. In reality, the act covers a wide range of relationships including those between partners who are dating or living together, as well as same-sex couples. This means that individuals who are experiencing abuse from their partner but are not legally married can still apply for protection under VAWA.

There is also a common belief that only U.S citizens or legal permanent residents (green card holders) can benefit from VAWA. However, this is not the case as non-citizens who have been abused by a U.S citizen or lawful permanent resident may also be eligible for protection under VAWA. This includes individuals on temporary visas such as H-1B visa holders or DACA recipients.

It is important to dispel these misconceptions about VAWA so that individuals who are experiencing abuse can seek help without fear or hesitation. VAWA offers crucial protections for all victims of gender-based violence regardless of their gender, relationship status, immigration status or type of abuse they have endured. If you or someone you know is in need of support due to domestic violence or sexual assault, do not hesitate to reach out for assistance under VAWA.

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