VAWA [Battered Spouse, Children, Parents]

An independent self-petition may be filed by the spouse or child of an abusive USC or LPR. A parent of an abusive USC may also self-petition. Basic requirements for battered spouse/children include 1) resided with USC/LPR spouse or parent; 2) was battered or subject to extreme cruelty; 3) marriage entered into in good faith; 4) is otherwise eligible for Immediate Relative or preference status; and 5) is of good moral character. For a parent to self-petition under VAWA if USC child is over 21 at time of filing and is currently the parent of abusive USC.

Proving VAWA Case

Proof of battery or extreme cruelty includes, but not limited to: 1) reports and affidavits of police, judges, medical personnel, school officials, clergy, school workers, and social workers; 2) protective orders, visible injury photos, and showing of a pattern of abuse. Petitioner must provide evidence of abuse, but if does not do so USCIS will attempt to verify electronically.

Naturalizing after VAWA

A LPR who obtained status under VAWA may apply for citizenship within 3 years under INA §319(a), 8 USC §1430(a).