Immigration Services - U-Visa

Immigration Services Attorney in California

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), specifically the I-360 application, provides a pathway to residency for individuals who have experienced violence or abuse at the hands of a spouse, with the aim of safeguarding undocumented immigrants and granting them legal resident status in the United States.

This process involves two essential steps:

1.- I-360 VAWA Application: Applicants must initiate the process by seeking approval of their I-360 VAWA application. Once approved, this application provides the applicant with legal status within the United States.

2.- I-485 Adjustment of Status: After the I-360 application is approved, spouses of U.S. citizens can proceed to file an I-485 application to adjust their status and obtain residency. However, spouses of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) must wait until their priority date becomes current before they can take this step.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet specific criteria:
They must be married to a United States citizen or legal resident.
They must provide evidence of suffering domestic violence and/or psychological abuse at the hands of their spouse. Proof of abuse may include photographic evidence, police reports, criminal court documentation if applicable, court-issued orders of protection, written statements from witnesses, medical and psychological records, or letters from religious counselors. Importantly, applicants should not fear retaliation or disclosure of their application to the abuser, as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not inform the abuser about the filing of the petition.

VAWA's primary objective is to provide a lifeline to those who have suffered abuse within their marital relationships, offering them a legal path to seek protection and permanent residency in the United States. It serves as a vital tool in addressing domestic violence and ensuring the safety and well-being of vulnerable individuals.