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Violence Against Women Act


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VAWA Visa Lawyer In Los Angeles

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offers a pathway to legal residency for certain survivors of domestic violence, abuse, and other crimes committed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. This immigration option was created by the U.S. Congress in 1994, as part of the Violence Against Women Act, to protect and assist victims of violence and abuse. 

The act has been amended and reauthorized several times, and VAWA relief is available to spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have been subjected to abuse.

To qualify for the VAWA visa, the applicant must meet a certain eligibility criteria, such as demonstrating that they entered into a good faith marriage with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, or showing that they are the parent or child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has abused them.

The applicant must also show that they suffered battery or extreme cruelty by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative during the qualifying relationship. The abuse can take many forms, including physical violence, sexual assault, stalking, and emotional or psychological abuse. 

VAWA recognizes the serious harm that domestic abuse can cause and provides a pathway to legal residency for certain survivors who are able to demonstrate that they have suffered abuse at the hands of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

It is important to note that VAWA immigration relief is not a guarantee, and the application process can be challenging. However, with the help of a VAWA visa lawyer, survivors of domestic violence and abuse can increase their chances of success and obtain legal protection and support they need to begin a new life free from violence and abuse.

Eligibility Criteria for VAWA

To be eligible for VAWA relief before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  1. The applicant must have been the victim of extreme cruelty by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child during the qualifying relationship.
  2. The applicant must have been or be in a bona fide (good faith) marriage with the abuser if the qualifying relationship is marriage-based. This means that the marriage was entered into for genuine reasons, not solely for immigration purposes.
  3. The applicant must have resided with the abuser.
  4. The applicant must have good character.
  5. The applicant must file the application within two years of the divorce or the death of the abuser if the qualifying relationship is marriage-based.

Steps and Procedure to Apply for a VAWA Visa

The following are the steps and procedures to apply for VAWA:

  1. Gathering Evidence: The first step is to gather evidence to support the VAWA application. This includes evidence of abuse, such as police reports, medical records, and witness statements, as well as evidence regarding the abuser’s status in the United States. The applicant may also need to provide evidence of the bona fide marriage, such as joint bank account statements or joint tax returns.
  2. Filing the I-360 Form: The next step is to file the I-360 form, which is the petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. This form is used for VAWA self-petitioners. The form requires the applicant to provide information about themselves, the abuser, and the abuse they suffered. The applicant should also provide any supporting evidence they have gathered.
  3. Biometrics and Background Check: After the I-360 form is filed, the applicant will be required to undergo biometrics, which includes taking fingerprints and a photograph. The applicant will also undergo a background check to determine whether they have any criminal convictions or immigration violations.
  4. Request for Evidence After the background check is completed, the applicant may be asked for additional information from USCIS. The request for evidence is an opportunity for the applicant to provide additional information and evidence to support their application.
  5. Decision: After receiving all the evidence, USCIS will make a decision on the VAWA application. If the application is approved, the applicant may be eligible for legal residency in the United States.

The Role of a VAWA Visa Lawyer

A Los Angeles VAWA visa lawyer can be extremely helpful in the VAWA application process. A VAWA visa attorney can help the applicant understand the eligibility criteria and gather the necessary evidence to support their application.

They can also assist with filling out the I-360 form and preparing the applicant for the interview and fast-track the entire process. Therefore, working with an expert is important. Choose one of our lawyers for your VAWA application and get the protection you need.

Edith Nazarian is a highly experienced attorney for VAWA applications in Los Angeles whose goal is to help people with processing their immigration applications. Over the course of her career, she has helped numerous clients, and she is here to assist you. Book your consultation at (818) 748-8808 by calling now or schedule a visit to our office to discuss how to best proceed with your case depending on your specific circumstances.

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I hired Edith to help me with my O1 visa application. She went above and beyond with helping me put it together, making my case as strong as it could possibly be. She was very thorough, knew every detail, and helped me spend my time more wisely and on the things that actually mattered. She’s very knowledgeable and knows what she’s talking about.

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Edith Nazarian is an extraordinary immigration lawyer. I’ve been working with Edith for several years now, having worked in two O1-B applications, and couldn’t be happier. Both applications got approved on the first try without a need for an RFE. I always recommend her to my friends in the ex-pat community.

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