Former Vice President and current 2020 Presidential Candidate Joe Biden released a new TV ad to showcase his record combatting violence against women. One of Biden’s biggest legislative accomplishments is the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994 as part of the crime bill. VAWA allows non-residents who have been abused by a family member to ‘self-petition’ for their own lawful United States permanent residency (green card0 application under an adjustment of status (AOS), called a VAWA self-petitioner. Although the act name refers to women, it applies to both abused males and females.
To seek green card resident status through VAWA evidence is required. An individual can self-petition for VAWA by completing a Form I-360, which is a petition for a special immigrant. On the application, the self-petitioner could give a safe address rather than the location where they reside, and that could be the attorney’s office or the office of a friend or relative.
The detailed requirements for Violence Against Women Act visa applicants make applying for this visa exceptionally challenging. VAWA application forms require the knowledge of an experienced immigration attorney. Forms that are not completed in a timely manner or are submitted late or incomplete can result in a denial of your VAWA petition.
The 25-year-old Violence Against Women Act lapsed in February 2019 after the government shutdown. The House passed a reauthorization and Senate Democrats signed for the new version. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has so far declined to bring the reauthorization bill to the floor for a vote.
During the November 20 Democratic Presidential Debates, Vice President Joe Biden was asked how he would address sexual violence and reminded viewers that he authored legislation to address violence against women in 1994.
The United Nations has declared November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.
– UN Secretary-General António Guterres
The attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Lombard and Chicago, Illinois, fight for the rights of immigrants and help immigrants navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and forms. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-6369.