We serve immigration clients nationwide. Contact Us to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers today.

The VAWA application process in Oak Brook holds many advantages for those looking to escape a toxic situation. If your spouse has harmed you and you still wish to become a citizen, you do not need to feel trapped. A VAWA application could allow you the freedom you need to escape a horrible situation, and with the help of our skilled immigration attorneys, you could file this application for paperwork allowing your stay in the U.S.

The Ins-and-Outs of the Violence Against Women Act Application

The Violence Against Women Act application is filed under Form I-360. Basically, victims of spousal abuse follow it word by word in answering the questions, but they have to look at each question carefully. Questions may seem simple, but they contain legal terms, requiring a bit of knowledge to answer them correctly. Aside from that, though, the biggest thing in a VAWA case is providing and proving the evidence of the abuse, the relationship between the immigrant and the US citizen or the legal permanent resident abuser, and that is where most of the time and effort on a case is spent. While both time-consuming and tricky, it may be best to work with an attorney for help with the VAWA application process in Oak Brook.

Additionally, there are two other forms for VAWA applications, one of them is an employment authorization document application, Form I-765. If the person is represented by an attorney, they would have to fill out Form D-28.

Confidentiality and VAWA Applications

The VAWA application is confidential because the government made it illegal to release any information concerning a battered spouse or a child applicant. There also is the privacy act that applies, so even a judge in court cannot give the information without the applicant having signed off on it.

Who Has Access to the Application?

Generally, access to the VAWA application form is limited to employees of the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, or the Department of State. An officer at one of those departments handles the application out of the Vermont Service Center that acts on it and possesses that information. At times, if an interview is required, an officer is selected in the local US Citizenship and Immigration Services office to conduct that interview.

How Marriage to a U.S. Citizen Affects the Process

If the immigrant is married to a US citizen, he or she still has to provide evidence of the abuse, but there would be an additional need to prove both parties entered into a good-faith marriage and that the relationship does exist between them. If the couple has been divorced, then they would need to show when, and the case must be filed within a certain period.

First Steps When Applying

The first step in the VAWA application process is to meet with an attorney to identify whether an individual is eligible for a VAWA application. For example, in some instances, someone may be eligible for a U-Visa in which the aggressor was a non-US citizen. In the case of a VAWA application, the aggressor must be a citizen or a legal primary resident of the United States. Once that is done, ideally, the meeting would be completely confidential, and it is protected by the attorney-client privilege, so the immigrant is able to share freely with the Oak Brook attorney and be advised accordingly.

Evidence Gathered for Proving Abuse

The immigrant and attorney must prove evidence of battery and extreme cruelty, one or both, and that could include:

  • Reports from officers, judges, or other court officials
  • Medical reports
  • School or social worker write-ups
  • Documents showing an order of protection against an abuser

The government often takes into account evidence of seeking refuge with a battered women’s shelter or even whether the immigrant has consulted with a psychologist or other mental health professional. Often, these providers of evidence submit what they have through photos, videos, or other tangible documents detailing injuries. An Oak Brook lawyer could help collect any of this valuable evidence that would bolster a VAWA application.

Consult an Attorney about the VAWA Application Process in Oak Brook

Despite what you may have been told, leaving a spouse who holds citizenship over you does not bar you from gaining entry status into the states. In fact, there is a whole subset of forms that you could apply for that would give you the ability to stay in the U.S. The VAWA application process involves those forms and extends specifically to foreign persons who have suffered abuse at the hands of a spouse who is already a citizen. For more information, reach out to an attorney.

Lead Counsel Rated
Illinois State Bar Association
American Immigration Lawyers Association