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The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was originally signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and was updated and reissued in 2022. It protects anyone experiencing domestic abuse and holds abusers accountable for restitution and their criminal acts. It also goes a step further.

When you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident and he or she is committing violence against you so that you fear for your safety, VAWA is the basis of one form of legal and expedient immigration. Our seasoned immigration attorneys can help you with VAWA application forms in Lombard.

VAWA and Confidentiality

VAWA acknowledges that one conundrum with applying for a green card is working with a sponsor that in most cases is a close or extended family member. The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) deemed family sponsorship the most common choice by foreign nationals legally immigrating to America. Generally, spouses and other close family sponsors work in tandem with the applicant, submitting information about themselves, such as the promise and ability to support the applicant financially. If the applicant is the spouse of the abuser, he or she should not have to involve the person abusing him or her.

A VAWA self-sponsored petition for a green card is confidential. Even though the applicant will disclose the abuser’s name on the initial application as the spouse, the abuser cannot call the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and receive information about the applicant. This is one big difference between a family sponsored application and a VAWA self-sponsored petition in Lombard.

Form I-360 for VAWA Self-Petitioners

When you file a Form I-360 as a VAWA self-petitioner, you are providing pertinent biographical information about you and your abuser, and your lawful status for immigration. If your abuser is a U.S. citizen and your spouse, you can file the next document, Form I-485, concurrently as the principal applicant. Some sections will not apply to your applicant status because the form is used for other applicant classes, such as for religious-based reasons. Talk to a Lombard lawyer to ensure your VAWA application form is filled out correctly.

Additional Documents for VAWA Applications

Form I-485 is your Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Other documents and evidence to support who you are, and your claim, are also attached. These should include copies of your birth certificate and government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport as long as it includes a photograph and U.S. parole stamps and nonimmigrant visa if they apply to you. You must also submit two passport-type photographs, and also:

  • Form G-28 to register the attorney representing you
  • Proof of present or past J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status
  • Form I-765 as an application to be authorized to work
  • Form I-693 which details your mandatory medical report including vaccinations
  • Copy of Form I-94, your arrival and departure history if it pertains to you
  • Form I-601, your Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility if it pertains to you
  • Form I-212 for permission to apply for readmission into the U.S. if you have faced deportation or removal in the past
  • Form I-508 for those who identify as A, G, or E nonimmigrant status, and are waiving rights, privileges, exemptions, and immunities

You also need to submit certified information concerning any criminal charges if they pertain to you. Although it sounds overwhelming, our attorneys are skilled at identifying which documents are specific to your needs, can help you obtain them, and submit them according to USCIS guidelines. The process for filing a VAWA self-sponsored petition in Lombard is made much easier with help from a dedicated legal team.

Consult With Our Lombard Attorneys On VAWA Application Forms

Immigration is complicated. It is a government process fraught with rules, laws, guidelines, forms, and evidence you must submit. The stress of complying, locating evidence, and waiting for a reply can be overwhelming.

If you are submitting a VAWA petition because you are being abused by a loved one, we understand your stress is magnified. We want to help. Our attorneys have listened to thousands of stories like yours and we have the expertise that could get you through the immigration process to safety. Call our immigration lawyers today to receive the help you need with VAWA application forms in Lombard.

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