VAWA & U Visas
VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act, is a federal law that allows a spouse or child who has suffered from physical violence or mental cruelty to apply for lawful permanent residence even if you do not have the support of your U.S. Citizen or permanent resident spouse. U visas offer crime victims a to apply for legal nonimmigrant status. In all cases, you should seek the help of an immigration lawyer to apply for these immigration benefits.
If you have questions about whether or not you qualify for VAWA benefits, or a U visa, contact the experienced Boulder, Colorado, immigration attorneys at Battan Alpert LLP. With 30 years of finding solutions for clients facing all types of immigration questions, we can help you if you have been a victim and need help with your immigration status.
Self-Petitioning Through VAWA
In certain cases, a victim of domestic violence of mental cruelty may be eligible to file a “VAWA self-petition” for lawful permanent residence. The process to apply for VAWA benefits is a complicated legal process and you should seek the assistance of an attorney for this type of application. A VAWA self-petition is generally an option if the person who abused you is your U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse, parent or stepparent.
There are additional protections available under the VAWA laws that can help you if you have conditional permanent residence and you are married to an abusive U.S. citizen.
In addition, if you are at risk of being deported, it is especially important that you speak to an experienced immigration attorney. If you have lived in the United States for at least three years and your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse is abusive, an immigration attorney may be able to request that your removal be canceled. You do not need the help of the abuser for this type of protection, but you do need the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney.
A U visa is available for crime victims who have been or will be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of that crime. The U visa is a nonimmigrant visa which may be valid for up to four years. At the same time you apply for a U visa, you may be able to apply for an employment authorization document. A U visa holder may be able to apply for lawful permanent residency after three years in U visa status.
U visa benefits may extend to spouses and minor children. This type of visa is available for victims of certain crimes, even if you are not related to the perpetrator in any way.
Contact A Longmont Crime Victim Attorney Today
If you have immigration law questions or want to learn more about how we can assist you in this process, contact our Boulder immigration law firm online or call our office at 866-614-8668 to schedule a consultation. We accept credit cards, speak English and are centrally located in Boulder just one block from Pearl and 28th Street, with ample off-street parking.
This website is for general guidance only. This website does not explain everything about immigration law as it applies to crime victims, which is a vast and ever-changing area of law. Furthermore, individual’s situations differ. Thus, all individuals should consult with an immigration lawyer prior to filing any petition or application.