Eligibility for VAWA: All You Need to Know

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a crucial piece of legislation in the United States, offering protection and immigration benefits to victims of abuse. VAWA is not limited to women and extends to victims of both genders. If you or someone you know has experienced abuse at the hands of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, you may be eligible for VAWA benefits. In this article, we will explore the eligibility for VAWA protection and immigration, the criteria and requirements to apply for it.

Eligibility for VAWA
To qualify for VAWA benefits, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria include:

Relationship with the Abuser

You must have a qualifying relationship with the abuser, who should be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. You could be eligible for a green card through VAWA if you were the victim of battery or extreme cruelty committed by:

Your U.S. citizen spouse or former spouse;
Your permanent resident spouse or former spouse;
Your adult U.S. citizen son or daughter; or
Your U.S. citizen/permanent resident parent if you are under 21 years old.
Proof of Abuse

You must provide evidence of physical abuse or extreme cruelty inflicted by the abuser. This can include physical violence, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, threats, and intimidation. If you do not have documents or other evidence of the abuse, your honest and detailed declaration explaining what you have experienced can be used as proof of the abuse.
Good Moral Character

Applicants are required to demonstrate good moral character. This means having no serious criminal convictions. It’s essential to be honest and truthful throughout the application process.
Residency Requirement

You must have lived with your abuser.
Filing Deadlines

VAWA has specific filing deadlines that must be adhered to. If you have already divorced your spouse or if your abusive spouse has died, you have up to two years from the termination of the marriage or your