U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently provided guidance to USCIS adjudicators for adjudicating Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) applications filed by Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners who are present in the United Stateswithout having been inspected and admitted or paroled. The guidance memo was issued on April 11, 2008.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows battered immigrants to petition for legal status in the United States  without relying on abusive U.S.citizen or legal permanent resident spouses, parents or children to sponsor their Adjustment of Status (Form I-485)applications.  For many immigrant victims of domestic violence, battery and extreme cruelty, the U.S.citizen or lawful permanent resident family members who would sponsor their applications will threaten to withhold legal immigration sponsorship as a tool of abuse. The purpose of the VAWA program is to allow victims the opportunity to “self-petition” or independently seek legal immigration status in the U.S.  Victims of domestic violence, battery and extreme cruelty whose Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360) self-petitions are approved may file Adjustment of Status (Form I-485)applications directly (self-petition).  Once a Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (Form I-360) VAWA self-petition is approved, the immigrant victim may file anAdjustment of Status (Form I-485) application to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) directly.

The Law Offices of Armando Villegas & Associates are experts in all Immigration related matters. If you have questions regarding the Violence Against Women Act and it’s application to your situation in this country, contact our office today! Schedule a private and free consultation with our experienced Immigration Attorneys. Call toll free at 323-888-1850 or contact us online. Se Habla Español.