Did you know that if you are in an abusive marriage to a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, you can make your own Petition? This law is known as the VAWA Law and protects both men and women who have been victims of domestic violence. The main requirements to apply for VAWA are as follows:
1. Be married to a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. There are no time requirements for the offending spouse to have been a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. There is also no specific time requirements to have been married to the offending spouse.
2. You have suffered physical or psychological abuse by the husband or wife of the U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. For VAWA, the abuse does not have to be physical. This can be confusing for some immigrants who interpret the word “violence” literally. Psychological abuse can be just as damaging in a marriage and the immigration court takes it very seriously. See our [DATE] blog to make a list of evidence you should have ready for your immigration attorney to show the physical or psychological abuse you have endured.
3. You must show that the marriage was in good faith and legitimate. Immigration courts take fraud by immigrants very seriously. Before considering a marriage to someone in the United States, make sure this is a person you see yourself loving and cherishing for the rest of your life. Hold on to every love note, gift, etc. And never delete texts or voicemails, as they can become good proof of love and affection before and during the marriage. It is important to keep these signs of evidence organized, because your immigration attorney may need them to prove your case.
4. You have indeed resided with the offending person. This is an easy one to prove, however, make sure to get a couple of the household bills in your name so there is proof of consistently residing at the residence.
5. You have good moral character, that is, that you have not been convicted of certain crimes. Having been convicted of a crime does not automatically disqualify you for immigration to the United States but be ready for an uphill battle during your fight for citizenship. If you have been convicted of a crime, make sure to consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your options. Proving your moral character can come in many ways. Do you volunteer? What would your neighbors say about you? What about your boss? Are you active in a church or civic organization? Statements from all these people can be very helpful in your VAWA case.
If you feel that you have a case for VAWA relief, contact The Werner Law Group today. We answer the phones seven days a week. For immigration consultations call 361-LUV-4USA or 361-588-4873. You may also text with Marianela from our immigration department at 361-885-2883. Se habla Espanol.